Anyway, we also had a cultural afternoon on Wednesday as part of the week. It was full of skits, songs, dances, and a lot of laughter. It made my day. And my week. It was so fun to see the students sharing bits of themselves, their countries, their cultures. There were traditional songs, marriage ceremonies, and dances. Plus skits reflecting things they've learned this semester. I think the best part was sitting there, often not understanding the words/language, and yet still being able to enjoy everything with those around me. Laughter and humor are contagious. I decided that there's something joyful and almost spiritual about sitting in a room of people and laughing together. It breaks down language barriers and cuts through divisions. I think laughter [at least genuine laughter, not the laughing at others kind of laugher] bonds people in a powerful way. When we learn to laugh with people who are different than us, we share something with them.
I was struck [again] by how thankful I am to be here, in Uganda, and at RTC. I love these people so much! And consistently humbled that I have the opportunity to know them and learn from them.
And I also realized [or re-realized] that deep down we're all the same. The marriage ceremonies might be different but the premise is the same: two people joining their lives together. The languages might be different but the songs are still about trusting God. Our cultures are different, but I am constantly reminded that people are people. I wrote about this last month...how pain is pain, joy is joy. And this week I discovered that laughter is laughter. Shared experiences, especially ones that create strong emotion [sadness, laughter, etc.] bond people in mysterious ways. And for that, I am grateful for this week. For a chance to enjoy time with my African brothers and sisters. A chance to learn with them and about them. A chance to hear them worship and a chance to watch them laugh.
|South Sudanese students sharing songs|
about God in Juba Arabic
|Traditional Masaai song|
|Congolese marriage song/dance|
|I love RTC students!|
|RTC School of Music...amazing to hear them sing!|
Side note: Several students asked me why I didn't share anything about American culture. 'American culture' is a funny thing and hard to explain. We don't have songs to sing when people get engaged or cows that are given. We don't have the same emphasis on 'traditional songs'. I was glad I wasn't asked to share anything because I have no idea what I would have shared!