Photography by Lana Jaie
Cultural diversity is a powerful component in both positive and negative relations between groups. It is critical to note the lack of education about various traditions and ways of life.
WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) is a festival that travels the globe annually from as near as Adelaide to as far as Abu Dhabi. Incorporated in the festival alongside music is, of course, dance, as well as feelings of inter-racial cooperation, appreciation, understanding and peace.
Co-founder of WOMAD, Peter Gabriel, states on the official website that a love of world-music led to the idea for the festival, along with some deeper emotions. “Music is a universal language, it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism.”
WOMADelaide, Australia’s representation of the international festival each year is held in the beautiful surrounds of the Botanic Parks. Over the long weekend (5-8 March) the trees were adorned with enchanting lights that watched over the tens-of-thousands of captivated onlookers, many there for the first time, many for the tenth.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Adelaide’s Fringe, WOMAD was extended to four days from three. It did not disappoint.
Artists ranged from local favourites Xavier Rudd, Fyah Walk and the Armada, to renowned performers Tim Finn, The Skatalites and Tutti Ensemble. And whilst the amazing intensity of the Japanese drummers YAMATO was the headline act, the show was overwhelmingly stolen by the god of Indian music, Ravi Shankar.
However, the most charming thing about the festival is the numerous children running around without a care in the world. Being free up to the age of twelve makes this festival accessible to young families, and the joy on their faces offers hope for the future.
Open and without judgement, they receive the beauty of cultural diversity and the wisdom that sits therein to be gained.
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