Puffs of green, yellow, purple, red and pink rose from the crowd as excited individuals snuck a few more bouts of colour play before the countdown began. Feeling the excited energy, I could barely contain myself as I sifted my fingers through the fine flour-like powder in my small zip-lock bag. It was a vibrant yellow. And I had it and the other colours strewn all over myself from people sneaking up on me and smudging my skin and clothes. 10-9-8. The countdown had begun. The DJ shouted over the crowd trying to contain it so we’d all release our colours in one brilliant explosion. 7-6-5. Digging my hand into the bag I clutched a handful of yellow and forced back a toothy grin. To smile like that now would mean a mouthful of coloured dust. 4-3-2. I forced myself to shift my eyes to a squint though I wished to open them wide to witness all the colours about to emerge. 1. It was everything I had imagined. Continue reading “Rang De Basanti: April 6th”
Red shiny strands of synthetic hair were plastered across my face causing me to spit and sputter as I irritably pulled one strand from my lips. My shoulder-length wig was in my face for the thousandth time, reminding me why I don’t have long hair anymore. On the upside, the reason I was eating my wig was because I was grinning and laughing. I had on a set of rainbow leggings and was flaunting a lovely rainbow scarf hand-knit by my grandma. Continue reading “Pride Parade: April 5th”
They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.
But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”
She was forming the rhythm with the very air. Her hips, elbows, feet and hands beat an invisible series of drums surrounding her body. She was creating the rhythm of three beats. Her limbs listened to separate sounds, followed the voice of different drums and expressed themselves as individuals. The dance was wild but expressed coordination. Cooperation. She was a community in harmony.
My fingers settled on the game piece or striker, shaped like a tiny cake, and I slowly slid it to the outlined bar before me. Eyeing the pieces scattered across the board I set up a shot. After a moment of visualization I tucked my index finger into a curl behind my thumb, my hand hovering near the striker. Straightening my finger in an instant, the striker shot across the board before me clicking and clacking as it bounced off the other game pieces and surrounding wall: click, click, click…click…click. It began to slow as it lost momentum. To my delight one of the black pieces it ricocheted off of flew into a pocket. Grinning I accepted the retrieved piece and added it to my small tower. Then I collected the striker, set the piece and wound up my finger for another shot at carrom.
Pulling a case from his robe, Victory Jiaxiang Yu bowed as he held out his business card with both hands. I had remembered reading somewhere that business cards in China should be accepted with both hands so I did so awkwardly. I had to consciously tell myself not to automatically take his card casually with one hand.
Uncomfortably shifting my legs, for the tenth time I contemplated my decision to choose the floor over the chairs lining the sides. The mats surrounding the small table had seemed so inviting, and so exotic. The chairs in comparison had seemed to be placed there for those interested in the event, but not willing to fully immerse themselves. They’d seemed like crutches. They were cultural prisons, like always choosing a fork over a chopstick. In comparison, the mats had no restraints, no enclosures and, I would soon realize, no support.
I’d gleefully set myself down on a mat off to the right, savouring the feeling of freedom after being bound to a chair all morning. An hour in the novelty was gone and I found myself restlessly fidgeting. I had never stayed in a cross-legged position for this long before. My legs were falling asleep and my back was stiff from unfamiliar effort. Occasionally I wistfully eyed the chairs, longing to get over myself and rise to those thrones. Eyeing my fellow observers I noticed one woman, then another, unabashedly unfold their legs and stretch them before themselves. Inwardly relieved I followed suit, sighing in bliss as my legs were released. Content again I could once more take in the fascinating presentation before me. Continue reading “Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation”
At first I was unsure about this singer, he had a smoky rough voice–the kind my mother loves, but I don’t find appealing. Personal taste. As he kept singing though, the music’s lively beat began to catch hold of my limbs. In the beginning, Ezra Kwizera seemed detached from his singing. He stood quite still, his expression lax. Then after two songs he woke up. He began shifting his weight left and right, then his hips and guitar. Four songs in he set his guitar gently in its stand and, turning to the audience with a cheerful gleam in his eyes, he energetically motioned for them to stand. His friendly invitation found purchase in the eager audience and with a cheer they bounced out of their seats. We had caught the music bug. Continue reading “Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa”
Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.