Tuesday, December 3, 2013

God bless the USA

Last week I participated in Namaste, an Indian celebration. If you could have told me exactly a year ago, that I would be performing and dancing in front of a crowd of around 350 people from India, I believe I would have laughed in your face.However, that is exactly what we did. 

When we were asked to represent our culture, we were completely stuck. Our South African friends decided to do a Afrikaans tribal dance. Several Indian friends were showcasing dances from their region, but as an American, what do we do? How would we represent America, this blend of so many cultures. 

We struggled with this for weeks, until we realized we had to come up with something or else we'd look completely foolish standing on stage. 

So in a cumulative effort, we decided to do a little skit with dancing to show how diverse America is. We started out with a Bollywood ( India's film industry) dance. Meghan and I learned the steps to Jia Ho, the song at the end of Slumdog Millionare. 

After doing the dance, our "director," Lee Ann, cut us off, saying that it didn't quite showcase "America."
Next, we showed a little bit if Nollywood(yes, it's a real thing, Nigeria has it's own film industry) Sam and Gretchan came out dancing to "Azonto," which is technically from Ghana, but hey, it works. 

Finally, together we showcased Hollywood, with several songs and dances we made up to go along. 

We started out with "Born in the USA"

Followed by, "Surfin' the USA"

Then we all started line dancing to "Cotton Eye Joe"

We finished with a dramatic, "Proud to be an American"and right there, on stage, I realized that I'd never felt as patriotic as I did at that moment, raising the our American flag up, in front of hundreds of people from different cultures. I guess you could say that's the thing that defines us. We are proud of who we are. 

And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.!

The event ended in a fashion show. Most of the ladies wore clothing from their regional areas of India, but there were several internationals who brought other cultures clothing to the show. I was asked to be the “showstopper” and wear a western wedding dress next to a woman who wore her beautiful wedding sari.

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