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Successful Festival of Faith and Culture

posted Nov 3, 2014, 7:17 AM by Interfaith WS

             With Bill Smith creating sounds from the rainforest; cooks offering naan from India, kiwi, bean pie from the Nation of Islam and kugel from Judaism; and others introducing Buddhism, Baha’i, Unitarian Universalism, Paganism and other religious traditions, more than 200 children, youth and adults were transported into a wider world Sunday afternoon.

            They were gathered in Bryant Hall on the Salem College campus for the second annual Festival of Faith and Culture sponsored by Interfaith Winston-Salem.  The free event is offered each year to introduce a wide range of faith traditions and cultures to children in kindergarten through the fifth grade, according to coordinator Drea Parker.

            Sixteen tables arranged in a horseshoe shape were filled with arts and crafts projects that children were able to take home with them.  The projects enabled children – and the parents who accompanied them – to learn about other traditions and cultures.  Among the projects and activities were Buddhist prayer flags; Muslim henna tattoos; the history, art and culture of African-Americans; pagan year wheels sign language and the five elements of nature essential to life in Hinduism.

            The Dance for Universal Peace, led by Ferzin Irani, brought a diverse group – some in jeans, some in hijabs, some in painted faces – onto the floor for a song and circle dance expressing harmony and community while celebrating the underlying unity of all of the spiritual traditions of the earth.

            Daphine Strickland led a group of girls and women in the Native American Ladies Traditional dance, with an emphasis on the snake and canoe dance.  The dances were punctuated by a shout at the end of each phase.