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One thing that has stood out to me during our stay in Lesotho/ South Africa is how welcoming the people are, and how they incorporate song into their lives. The first afternoon that we were at Tlokoeng, the women of the village took many of us girls aside and showed/ taught us traditional Lesotho song and dance. They even had dressed Terra, Natasha, Camile, and Emma up in traditional dresses.
The songs they sang were beautiful. There were no instruments used besides buckets that the elderly ladies used as drums. They sang in harmony and we all held hands. The women would bring some of us forward into the middle of the circle. We sat on our knees and waved our wrists in a hula-like movements. Another part of the dance was to shift shoulders back and forth so their chests would move forward (however you were not supposed to use your torso). The women were very inclusive in making sure everyone was dancing. They brought a thin blanket by and threw it over Camille’s head and we all danced and sang around a bamboozled Camille. Eventually Bill and some of the other girls came and the women of the village encouraged us to dance up to Bill (because he is supposedly our chief) on our knees and give him a gift (but all they had handy as a makeshift gift was toilet paper- it was all very funny).
These women were very adamant about us learning their songs and dances. When some little kids pulled Amanda and me away and we sat and talked with them, the women came up to us and told us we were lazy for not dancing, and for hanging with the little children instead.
It became apparent to me that singing and dancing is an integral part of community, establishing and strengthening the interconnectedness of this vibrant mountain village.
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