weaving•songs II

WeavingSongs II was an intercultural exchange project designed and directed by Amanta Scott for Bengali, Tamil, Chinese and English-speaking seniors conversing and singing in four languages, in Toronto, 2011.

Hosted by Harmony Hall Centre for SeniorsWeavingSongs II culminated in a public performance attended by an audience of 130 people.

developing intercultural understanding and respect

hrough WeavingSongs II, participants:

  • learned four songs in four languages
  • performed four songs in four languages
  • integrated music and traditional dance movements
  • explored language and meaning through the discussion of lyrics
  • discussed the symbolic meaning of the song lyrics and the relevance of the song message to each culture.
  • built bridges within themselves and within the community
  • cultivated cross-cultural understanding and respect for one another.

A Bengali participant was discussing a popular Tamil song with the group: Vaala Ninaithal Vaalalaam - translated as “You can live if you want to live”. For this man, the song spoke about summoning up the determination to leave Bengal and come to Canada and build a better life. “Very philosophical” remarked one of the Chinese participants, who hitherto had not engaged with the group — and at this point, suddenly, everyone began to connect and interact. It was a very moving experience.

The group also selected and sang the 2008 Beijing Olympic song which concludes “we are family”. Photographs from our culminating public performance show that, without question, we built a warm and inclusive family in this project.

Weaving•Songs II was such a success that Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors funded a third workshop series, and hired Amanta Scott to direct Weaving•Songs III and present three public performances, one of which was at Pacific Mall, Toronto.