Posts in Religion
WGM x China 3Peat

Oh yes there are more photos after the jump from our China trip folks, this time it might be the last set (unless I uncover some worthy ones) and will be parts of Suzhou and Shanghai. In Suzhou we had a chance to take a great boat ride down the canal and see how the people live while waving to all the smiling faces and little kids cheerfully welcoming out boat as we pass. It wasn't the best conditions for them but nonetheless they were there yelling "hello!" or giving us the peace sign, it shows the true testament of the value on tourism and humanity when you go somewhere and no matter what they welcome you with open arms. Now Shanghai was fun and it was amazingly close to New York at night, I loved it especially after that boat ride at night... Wow was it beautiful with 'All of the Lights' illuminating faces and the water as it swayed from left to right.

Funny story about that Shanghai boat ride... while our group coordinator was rounding up all of us we had to wait in a place where the locals also bought their tickets and boy did I see those flashes going off haha. At the same time that we were experiencing something most of us never seen, so were the locals and it was our group that had different shades and colors of people. I don't remember how many babies I held and pictures were taken of us. I posed with as many as 10 people for ONE shot, it was awesome and everyone was super nice about it too. I didn't even have time to return the favor of taking their photos, it was such a people photo frenzy and right when I was about it we had to go!

In Suzhou there were a good amount of shots that happened at the right time, from people waving, doing their dailys, even a bride at an outside photo shoot that we happened to pass by. There are more miscellaneous shots but they will continue on my Tumblr so I don't over drown you all with shots here hehe. China will be missed as we had a great time and got to experience yet another country on the travel bug map. Where will the bug sweep us next? We don't know but wherever it is... we will be ready and bags packed with passports in hand.

Supremacy of the Supposed Knowledgeable

I got a little issue with some folks and their "uplift your own" mentality and providing knowledge only to their own kind/race/type. Not too long ago and currently going on there are many racial confrontations, deaths and fights because people don't want to understand or like folks that are different (ignorance) from them. After all that has happened it still lives on oddly within the same folks that got discriminated against and they don't understand that if you only try to JUST uplift your own... everybody else still views you the same. If you honestly care about providing knowledge or self-empowerment then share it with everyone, and don't create an environment fueled on exclusivity or ignorance of others; therefore repeating history that we don't care to revisit. If you expect to grow only within your comfort zone/kind then you will never experience true growth and all the beautiful experiences along with it.

Let's all grow together. Just my two cents.

Los Palos for me

[youtube width="600" height="360"][/youtube]Being from any culture comes with it's treasures and history especially in music, my family comes from the beautiful Dominican Republic and I would like to share with you some of our Afro-Dominican heritage. The music is called Palo (sticks) and has traces originating from central Africa and found a home in Villa Mella, DR. It's folkloric sound and mesmerizing drums was and is sometimes used in religious ceremonies and special gatherings, some will try to dispel it's content and question what it was used for in a negative manner due to it being used in certain religions. Known for it being a part of the Dominican culture some sum it up to be the music of Santeria or Voudu then in turn commenting that it is used to call upon demons or other ignorant statements. The lyrical content is mostly praise to the saints and or asking for guidance and help along life and or pleasing the gods.

[youtube][/youtube] I understand that peoples views on certain religions will never change or make sense to them, but what I do want to point out is that it's part of our culture and shouldn't be attacked or ignored due to indifference of religions or lack of knowledge. I am in no way associated with these religious practices so I am an outsider looking in as well, more for cultural reasons and the love of music. I can still hear and enjoy the beautiful rich history that my people have which were deeply rooted in religion and music. I embrace the sound of Palo, Gaga, Salves, etc. because without it we lose part of our cultural identity especially with the Spaniard and European influence in the Dominican Republic. The sound has also been used now for rhythm reasons in Merengue and HipHop which keeps alive the sound of our past to the new generation which you can see below.

[youtube width="600" height="360"][/youtube] [youtube width="600" height="360"][/youtube] I hope for the love of culture that we keep these treasures alive and well amongst our youth so they know where they came from and how it has shaped their present history and sound. For those that dismiss their origins is to be one without soul and mind.