Maine Seeds organize holiday event to celebrate diversity in Portland
PORTLAND, MAINE | Maine Seeds and Portland community members opened the Holidays of Holidays event on Decemember 8 at King Middle School.
Modeled after the Haifa-based event of the same name, Holidays of Holidays celebrated the diversity of Portland with music, art, and dialogue.
Sixty Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Shaman and Jewish Seeds presented on their particular holiday traditions. Among the group were native-born youth, along with Seeds from Somali, Chinese, Ethiopian, Iraqi and Ghanaian refugee and immigrant families.
“This was the first time that I publicly talked about Buddhism and how my family practices it,” said Michelle, a Maine Seed. “I was nervous at first, but I felt supported by my fellow Seeds, and in the end it was empowering.”
Maine Seeds also helped lead various games and activities with community members, and even invited people to participate in some fun Camp traditions.
“The event did a great job of bringing together a diverse group of people not just from the Seeds of Peace community but also from the greater Portland area,” said Abukar, a Seed from 2011 and PS from 2012.
For many of the local college students, teachers, and families who attended, their city’s rich diversity came as a surprise. Portland is fast becoming increasingly diverse, and Maine Seeds are working to create connections between local groups.
“One of the major goals of Camp is to build understanding between people of different faiths,” said Mohamed, a 2012 Maine Seed. “Holidays of Holidays [let us] celebrate our differences instead of fighting over them.”
The day energized Maine Seeds and a large turnout is anticipated at the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day community dialogue training, during which 30 Seeds are expected to learn facilitation skills.
HOLIDAYS OF HOLIDAYS
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