Friday, October 21, 2016

Gujarat Continued - My Week in Badora Part 2

Sitars in Navrasha's Music Department
I taught two workshops on civil rights movement protest songs for the high schoolers. I intentionally taught the African – American connection to the Indian independence movement. Even though they tried to stop me several times (by telling me to just get to the music) I went into African – American history starting with Africa and into slavery times. I would not be moved, as the song goes. I wanted them to understand how the music of the Black church essentially drove the Movement forward. I wanted to share the experiences of my people with them through our music. I hope I planted a seed in them that will lead to the uprooting of colonial mindsets.
Maya Cunningham Singing with Classical Indian Vocalists / Vocal Instructors at Navrashana

Indian Classical Raga Notation
Navrashana staff dancing at a fun restaurant outing

Classical Indian Dance Instructors at Navrashana
Classical Indian Dance Performance at Fine Arts College in Badora
A high point of the week was a staff dinner at a very fun restaurant. Just so you know, there are Chinese and Mexican restaurants in India. They enjoy all kinds of foods. In the restaurant, there was a drummer who circulated around playing in an energetic folk style from the Punjab in the Northeast region. He invited diners to dance along and I did so enthusiastically. It was great fun. The food was delicious. We also visited an international school. As the week came to a close, I was excited to get back to the group in New Delhi.  I left Badora with relief, a smile on my face and with my head held high. I had survived with dignity.  
Enjoying dinner at with Arts Department Staff at Navrashana

Street scene in Badora. These are coconuts that can be purchased to drink the water inside. Just poke a straw in and drink!
The classical Indian technique used to play violin. The instructor above teaches at Badora's Fine Art College.
Street scene in Badora
Badora's shopping district
Exquisite, intricately embroidered bags and other items for sale in Badora's shopping district

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