Weekly Challenge for MLK Day
As you may have noticed, today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US. Today is supposed to be not just a day off of work but a day of service. I think that’s a great idea! You can find more information here. You can search by area to see what sort of activities there are for you to help out with.
But this is a belly dance blog, and so…we have this week’s challenge!
Making change happen
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision was one of equality for all. However, as many of us know, that hasn’t happened yet. And to get into a touchy subject…it really hasn’t happened for women in Arab countries at all. “So what?” you are thinking (well, I hope not…), “How does this affect me and my dance?” Well, considering that belly dance is a folk dance that originated in these countries, with these women, it affects ALL OF US. Many dancers get dinged for not being culturally sensitive, or not knowing anything about the culture from which their dance comes from. Tribal Fusion dancers get heat about this the most, because fusion is so, so different from its origins. So it’s even more important for fusion dancers to know the origins of their “mother dance form.”
This week, let’s concentrate on changing that…and possibly changing the lot of women around the world. Every day this week, learn a little bit about what life is like for women in Arabic countries. It doesn’t have to turn into a huge research project to spend hours and hours on. Just read a little bit about it, at least five minutes a day. A news story one day, a Wikipedia entry the next. Find out what these women are going through, and why that is.
How will this change something? Well, it might not. But educating ourselves about what other women are going through is the first step. Most of us ignore the news because it’s unpleasant, or we just don’t want to take the time to follow a story. We know, intellectually, that women are treated badly in other countries, but many of us either don’t care, don’t know why, or don’t want help or think we can’t. We have our own lives to worry about: kids, work, practice, our own leisure… But taking 5 minutes, just 5 minutes, out of our schedules to learn about other people and other cultures just may make us more willing to reach out to people, to help those that we don’t know. We can help others, in a way that is culturally sensitive, if we just take the time to learn about them!
Let’s all get to learning!