I have been back in the States now for just over a week, and I am still in shock. At times it feels as though I haven’t left yet, that my journey still awaits me around the corner. And then most of the time I have found myself longing to be back in South Africa, and yet very happy to be home. Africa’s rhythm matches my own, where time is on a different schedule and singing/dancing is a way of life – a part of life. The night we got back from the wilderness we were singing and dancing together with our South African friends and it was great to be included in this part of the culture. All of the South Africans knew at least three of the same songs, despite being from different backgrounds. I found myself wishing there was an American song we could share that all of us would know, but it was clear how difficult that would be. Yes, we all know plenty of songs – but I’m not talking about pop culture. I wish Americans had more of a shared culture around dance and song. When we went to schools or the townships, so many of the children knew the same songs and dances. It linked them all. Art, no matter what form, can be so powerful – it made me so happy to see how many of the NGO’s we visited had dance groups and choirs.
- Mandela, The World’s President
- Humane Education