Tuesday, February 20, 2007
"Welcome to Our Global Village"
Welcome to our global village
Last Sunday afternoon I went to the annual Global Party held in Niihama (the rural city I live in on Shikoku Island. The Global Party is one of the greatest events held every year. People from almost all the foreign communities (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Brazilian, Indian) gather at the Woman’s Plaza to share their traditional food, games, dance, and talk. This year at least two hundred people showed. Performers performed, music was shared, dancing and singing and meeting occurred and the universe is a little bit brighter than it was before. The vibe was amazing, to put it vaguely. I was moved. And there was a magician who performed wonderful stage magic (a student from the college here) and we promptly made plans to meet and share magic tricks. As many of you know, I’ve been doing the same 12 magic tricks on a loop for the past ten years, so this meeting is really quite a wonderful thing for me (and for you, if you like seeing my new magic tricks!)
See the sign behind Duncan (performing his beautiful folk music)? It says, “Welcome to our Global Village.” This got me thinking. In the Western world I think the idea of a Global Village, or a world community, entered human consciousness at around the time of Jesus. He promoted the idea of a united world community of brothers and sisters; a Community and a God that is not owned by one particular tribe or ethnicity, race or social class; And the All Powerful Source or God is a Father to which ALL humans (not just a chosen few) can be, and already are, children. His idea of a transcultural, multicultural God was one that could unite ALL people around the world, and actually bring into fruition a Global Village, but only by the help of the willing people to love and care for each others. And, of course, with this early idea, one could only join that Global Village if converted to the common, shared mythology, called “Christianity.” But the idea of “all living together in a shared community or village, one so large it covers the entire globe,” that was quite new, I think, and quite a wonderful dream at the time, I’m sure, with violence and horrible acts of aggression surrounding all cultures in every turn. The history of the world is a brutal example of the power and horrors of ethnocentric pride. And the recent wave of worldcentic pride, that multicultural heart that honors and embraces every living culture is such a relief, you know?
(It’s important to remember (or dream up) how the Christian (“”) idea of a Global Village was not created within our modern perspective from “multiculturalism” or “rational pluralism”, which are both quite new but nevertheless common perspectives. I think we (you and I) all hold this view (Harmony in diversity pluralism), and it a definitely held by the bankers and investors and ecologists and peace-lovers, for it is a necessary component for dealing with global crisis and economics). Because the early idea was constructed out of a limited, uninformed, pre-internet world, it was naturally bound to have an ethnocentric, our-way-is-the-best-and-only-way feel. The present idea of a Global Village, on the other hand, arose out of a global culture (in the information age) and thus is has no roots in an ethnic or religious superiority. I’d call it “transreligiouse” or “interreligious.” It is multiculisitic through and through)
The modern, current Global Village idea, exhibited in these pictures, has evolved to include a universal pluralism of reasonableness and tolerance, of honor and inclusion and appreciation that allows complete harmony in diversity to hum its humble tune. The village now rests on the law: Let each religion go (unless they are blowing up others); let the cultures go and see what kind of beautiful art and music and dance and movements arise out of that freedom and openness. Love all, serve all. No doubt The Global Village is an idea that many people have as a dream for the future.
Thankfully, in so many ways the Global Village is already upon us, with events like this being proof of a community of souls that choose to live together in religious and ethnic harmony. “Welcome to our Global Village” means, Hey, we started a Global Village! Welcome. Come on in and have some fun. We are celebrating. And the celebration never ends with the Global Village. Because the diversity never ends. It just keeps dancing and eating and singing and sharing, and if you look carefully, you can see the miracle of “harmony in diversity” glow as the smile on everyone’s face, especially the laughing, learning, dancing children.
The Niihama Global Party reminds me of the Interreligious World-Peace Meditation held annually in Kansas City. That is something I miss about my hometown, for sure. The Ethnic Festival was also a concert feast. I used to help out with the Japan Booth, selling kakigori (snowcones), and edamame. I miss it, I do. I miss my hometown.
My favorite Japanese saying or “kotoba” is junintoiro, which means “ten people, ten colors.” Everyone is a different color, and all colors are beautiful because they are made of lights interacting with each other. And all Colors are made of the same Light, yet are all infinitely different. Ah, the radiant miracle of harmony in diversity.
Posted by David at 1:38 PM
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