Dance Your Way Through Different Cultures
Last Sunday, I got to experience something new and different. I was a little nervous about it at first, but I decided to go through with it, that is, bachata dancing. I got in the car with two of my best pals, and we drove through Center City until we arrived at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As we approached the museum, you could hear the music playing from a distance and eventually we found the spot where the event was being held.
The DJ stopped the music a few minutes after our arrival, and at that moment I realized that it was time to do this . . . but once I started, I realized how much fun it actually was!
After about twenty minutes of dancing on the Rocky Steps, we then headed out to try and find a place to eat. As we were driving around, we saw many Puerto Rican flags hanging out the back of people’s cars. Out of curiosity, I hopped on Google to see if there were any events happening in Philly and I found out that the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade had happened earlier that morning. My friends and I decided to go out to our favorite Puerto Rican restaurant, Freddy & Tony’s in honor of it being Puerto Rican Day.
Overall, we had a really nice time. Our day was filled with fun, and exciting new things, but more importantly, it was filled with a culture that was not of our own.
As I was reminiscing about our day, I began to try to think of all the different cultural experiences that I have had so far in life, and sadly, there weren’t too many. Having the city so close to campus, there are so many opportunities to experience a culture other than your own. Philly has so much to offer. As followers of Christ, I’m convinced that God so desires for us to experience cultures from every part of the world. Although it may not be listed as one of the Ten Commandments, I think cultural experiences add significant value to our lives and supports the commandant that we do have: to love one another.
Jesus was a Jew, but did he only hang out with other Jews? No, instead, he got out in the world and made conversation with people of every tongue and every nation. We must also get out of our own comfort zone, and step out into something unfamiliar, and something that may even seem out of the ordinary.
Being among different cultures also gives us a greater perspective on who God is. If every individual on this earth was made in the image of God . . . then every individual must have significant value, worth, and purpose. By meeting new people, people that do not necessarily look like us, dress like us, or act like us, we can begin to get a taste of what Heaven will look like. Revelation 7:9 says, “After this, looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
So dance your way through different cultures around us right here in the city of Philadelphia, and begin to share your experiences with others, inviting them in on this journey. It’s a dance that will continue for eternity!