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For the next 365 days, I am focusing on KARMA as my resolution to 2010. I'm open for stories, ideas and kismet. EMAIL ME.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I attended a local high school's multicultural festival today that celebrated the richness of its student body. Over 69 flags were hung around the school to represent the culture that is the school.

Students sang songs, danced, and displayed posters to represent their homelands, languages and memories. In addition, tables lined the school where food was available for taste testing and sharing.

As a suburbanite who grew up north of this school, I am amazed at
the spectacular display of global traditions that were set for others to view at this school. There is a bit of irony, too, that schools five miles north are most likely oblivious to the realities of America's demographics that are changing across the country. I started thinking about who is cheated more by the way we school our adolescents - those who arrive with limits in their education or those who have been schooled in the U.S. all along, but who are not placed in classrooms with the pastiche of cultures that are, as Mary Pipher has written, occuring In the Middle of Everywhere.

I think the most exciting parts of the day were when students of other cultures began dancing to the music of cultures unlike their own - a fusion of break dancing meets oral traditions, and traditional dancing meets the music of modernity.

What struck me above all else, however, is how much karma was in the gym and the total appreciation that this student body had for itself as a miraculous example of the early 21st century in Syracuse. Young men from the Dinka tribes of Sudan danced in their hip hop jackets with young boys from Iraq demonstrating their traditional harvest moves.

And it all makes me want to sing America with Walt Whitman.

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