Finding Common Ground Through Celebration
Every culture around the world knows how to party and has its own special ways of doing so. The sharing of music, dance, cuisine and libations are always at the core of any cultural celebration. When seeking common ground throughout the vast diversity of humanity, a festival is a good place to begin.
When the Northwest Language & Cultural Center was considering the manner in which to celebrate 20 years of nurturing cross-cultural understanding, the idea of a festival that showcases diverse cultural expression emerged. The original plan was to reconnect with groups that were featured in the many activities that NWLACC has orchestrated over the years. We soon discovered that busy summer schedules were keeping some of our old friends from being able to celebrate with us. Thus, we expanded our vision to include finding new friends to offer their ethnic contributions to the unfolding tapestry of this international festival. The result is a beautiful blending of old friends and new that we are very pleased to share with you on Saturday, August 20 from 4 to 10 PM in a lovely outdoor setting on south Whidbey Island.
As event coordinator, I have valued the opportunity to cultivate friendships with the leaders of global performance groups as well as individual musicians and dancers. I have been privileged to encounter people who are passionate about their ethnic food offerings and those who are proud of what their culture generates in the way of folk ware and crafts. These relationships are enriching my life and expanding my worldview. You have the same opportunity by attending the festival and interacting up close and personal with many people who are uniquely different yet share so much common ground including the strong desire for global peace.
Along with the culturally enriching aspects of the festival, you will enjoy the high quality entertainment of a variety of performances from around the world. In addition to the highlighted entertainers here, we still have a few surprises in the works that you will need to attend to discover. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Anadolu Folk Dancers from Turkey https://sites.google.com/site/anadolufolkdancers/ will dance for us and then teach us a traditional Turkish folk dance that we will perform together.
The Japanese choir, Sound Singers http://soundsingers.org will share music that represents their slogan “Building Friendship Through Music.”
The Bollyworks Dance Troupe http://www.bollyworks.com will perform and then teach us some of their moves, which they promise will be lots of fun!
China will be represented by accomplished folk singer Crystal Shaw and dancer Melody Xie of the Melody Dance Institute https://www.facebook.com/MelodyInstitute/ Melody will teach the children a beautiful traditional Chinese ribbon dance. Have your cameras ready for that!
After an intermission that will feature special cultural activities for the children, we will bring on the rhythms of Africa and dance the rest of the night away!
First we will groove with the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble http://www.anzangamarimba.band.
Then, as Thione Diop put it, we will rock the island with peace, love and dance to the amazing rhythms of Thione Diop and his band, Yeke Yeke http://thionediop.com. What a great way to cap off this international celebration of embracing diversity by sending us off moving and grooving to the pulsing of our beloved Mother Earth = our common ground!