Unity, the Beat of a Community

August 2, 2011 • Children & Youth, News

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We continue with our coverage of the Hindu Youth Camp at West Virginia University in Morgantown. On the last afternoon of the camp our new African friends invited us to participate in a drum circle that they had planned. Earlier in the day they had attended a yoga and meditation class.

Our youth group turned up at 3pm at one of the larger halls on campus to find our friends there along with about 30 djembes. Djembe is an African skin-covered drum meant to be played with bare hands that has its origins in West Africa. Individuals from both groups teamed up and before long the hall was filled with drum beats. Our friends were patient as they taught us basic beats on the djembe. It wasn’t long before the young Hindu campers felt confident to beat along with the Africans.

The two and a half hours that followed was the highlight of the camp for many. Besides learning how to play the djembe we also learned some African dance steps. It was an afternoon filled with music and dance, an unplanned unity of two cultures, strangers the day before and friends today. It was an experience that will live long in the hearts and minds of all those that attended.

Indian African Cultural Exchange

Our young campers learning how to play the djembe from our new friends

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

It was certainly one of the highlights of this year's camp

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

12 year old Nidhi is all about playing the djembe

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

Both groups truly enjoyed getting to know one another

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

Indian African Cultural and Music Exchange

Both groups gather to capture this wonderful coming together of two cultures

Teachers and Coordinators. From left: Mr. Krishnasamy, Olu, Muni Natarajan, Mrs. Fuller, Mwatabu Okantah, Dandapani and Nana (Nana is a term of endearment that refers to a chief in the Akan traditions)

Teachers present one another gifts that are sacred to their culture.




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