Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrating Culture

It was cultural day at church yesterday. I personally loved it! I guess growing up in Canada, I didn't really see much culture around me. We are such a melange of backgrounds in Canada that culture seems to get lost - although I guess that is a culture in itself. In high school we had two East Indian kids. That was about how much we were exposed to culture in our town. I remember one girl explaining to us what Taj Mahal  looked like. I was enthralled. Now in our town, we have a few more nationalities but even at that, there are only a handful of them. We often wonder how people will react to Kelvin once he gets to Canada as he will most likely be the darkest person in town.  

My mom's side of the family are Doukhobours which are originally a spiritual community from Russia. I guess that's pretty cultural although I never quite identified with it. We never entered into the 'spiritual' side of the culture because Mom was a Christian. We only ate the yummy overly-buttered food and called our grandparents 'Baba and Deda'. That's about as Doukhobour as I get. Then my dad's parents were Scottish and Welsh but both grew up in Canada. My dad had a kilt and we all got goosebumps when we heard the bag pipes being played. I think what I loved most was listening to my grandmother talk about 'the Old Country'. Although she spent most of her life in Canada, she was born in Wales and spent sometime there when her and my grandpa got married. She definitely passed on the love of English tea to me. 

However, African culture always enthralled me ever since I was a little girl. I knew I was destined to be here. Although I never really thought I would actually marry one and BE one one day. How cool!

I find Kenyans to be very proud of their culture particularly their tribal culture. My husband is a very proud Luo. 

So what did cultural day look like? Honestly, it kind of looked like every other day despite the fact we put up a few decorations. The folks around here tend to live out their culture daily. The women still wore their traditional dresses which most of them wear every sunday to church. We sang songs that we sing most church services. The food was awesome but it was everyday food. I guess in essence we just celebrated who we are! 

 While alighting off the matatu, my shoe broke. I was alone as Kelvin had gone earlier. I was embarrassed as everyone was staring at the white girl who just broke her shoe. I tried to think about what to do but since it was Sunday, all the fundi's I knew would be closed. I walked across the street to a store hoping to find a cheap pair of shoes to buy. Well, the guy in the store saw my dilemma and pointed me towards another guy who just happens to fix shoes in the store! In five minutes, my shoe was fixed. Yay! So I arrived at the church relieved my shoe was ok and overly excited to see my bestie Rahab!

 We turned our youth sanctuary into the stage. 

 Just a sample of the yummy food. Lots of rice, different types of beans, coconutty stuff, mashed sweet potatoes and green bananas, pilau, salads, vegetable stews, peanut butter, fried chicken and fish, and different types of uji! It was unreal. My plate was a mountain of food.

Our dear friend Christine was the guest artist. I always love hearing her sing. 

My handsome hubby was the MC of the day and he did a phenomenal job. This was definitely my favourite moment when he invited all the kids on stage and danced. Most days, he is really just a big kid himself. One of the many things I adore about him.

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