"Dancing Made Us One": Celebrating Diversity

For the past couple of months, the girls have been preparing for Heshima Kenya's Cultural Day, where they sing and dance to express their different culture and heritage to others. This is a way of embracing their identity, building confidence and releasing stress, while having fun at the same time. They are also able to teach others more about who they are, beyond what can be seen in their day to day activities.

They had the opportunity to do their first show when Heshima Kenya had guests from The University College of Volda, Norway visiting in October. The Somalis were first with their traditional dance “Buranbur”, followed by the Rwandese, Congolese and Burundians dancing together.  Some of the Ethiopian girls did an Oromo dance called “Shogoyee”, before the girls all sang together. The show was closed by Zena, singing a song about peace. The girls were also excited to show the visitors what they had rehearsed.  Ayan (15) from Ethiopia says: “The performance was nice, although I was a bit nervous. The other groups had larger numbers but the Ethiopians were few. I practiced in the house and I felt better about it. I hope by practicing more the next performance will be even better."  Esperance (18) from the DR Congo was the one initiating the Cultural Day.   wanted to unite the girls and have them working toward a mutual goal, instead of each girl doing her own things. “I want to learn more about each culture and tribe”, she says. “Now we are more united, because everyone wants to present a good thing.  The rehearsals and performance have made us as one”.

Tanja