I have to admit that I like to think of myself as a nerd. I hardly go out. I like reading my books and having fun my own way. I am the late bloomer, I get trends last , and I am not that cool and I like my room, and occasionally my passionate moments with nature. This is how I lead my life. However, this was to change just by one event.
Last week, members of my community organized an occasion to celebrate global cultures in what was dubbed “The Whole World Festival.” This was a get-out event aimed at bonding the community together. My town has a historical problem of ethnic and racial tension. The community leaders thought that cultural shock and misunderstanding were the leading cause of tension in the community. For this reason, the whole world festival provided an opportunity where members of the community would share cultures and get to know each other. The aim of the event is to foster cultural understanding and global awareness. The Whole World Festival included an array of activities that include dances from different parts of the world, foods, clothes and sporting activities. There are no fees charged for participation. The event produced a lot of joy for the community and reinforced the original idea of the United States as the melting pot of cultures. It not only provides the authenticity of cultures but also brings meaning to the community creating a bond that transcends, race, culture, religion and nationality.
The cultural event in my town made me understand the importance of identity and belonging. I realized that culture is the essence of life. People came with nation’s flags, their folklore music, foods, and families just to display their culture to experience that home feeling in the United States. It was an eye-opening event because I have never thought that culture was a big deal. I was always enclave in my own culture and never sought to expand it. This event taught me how to celebrate humanity to practice the idea of oneness.
For the event, I dressed like an Arab Sultan. I had a white robe with the keffiyeh on my head. I thought I looked so cool. I tried a little Arabic that sounded awful for other, but hey, I was having fun. Every else had fun too. I met countless number of people that I did not know. However, what seemed to matter here was that people were having fun. It was like a huge world cup or Olympics. It was beautiful to be together in cultural harmony and see the beauty of life. At the end of the day, I was too tired to think. All I wanted to do was to reflect on the occurrences of the day. I was amazed at how much one day can change a life.