Sunday, June 03, 2012

Sudanese Christians

When we teach Sudanese Sunday School in Manchester, the adults have worship at the same time. They were playing videos of a church in Sudan singing, to help the adults learn the songs. They only do the dances on special occasions here - I don't know how that will turn out, whether that will increase or eventually fade to once-a-year.

It all looks in one sense strange, yet if one squints a bit watching this and other videos, they are not entirely dissimilar to European ethnic dances. When you put the men in one line, or circle, and the women in another, points of similarity rather have to emerge.

The children, as one might expect, have rather ambivalent response to the Dinka/Sudanese songs. On the one hand, they are fun, the community is together, there is some sense of place in the world. OTOH, it is not like what they have with their American friends, it is something for parents and grandparents, and it is weird, not cool. I was not subjected to Swedish folk dancing (the Hambo, go see it, really. It's uh, much less vigorous than many folk dances) as a child, but I watched others my age suffer through Greek or French festivals, in full costume, well into highschool.

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