2nd Texas Paddle – Sierra Leone community exhibit cultural heritage
Texas, U.S.A, May 12. For the second time Sierra Leoneans all across the United States showed their support towards diversity and complexity in a classical Texas Paddle show. Last weekend Saturday, May 4, marked another milestone when the Sierra Leone community was allowed by city authorities to demonstrate their cultural values in the city of Dallas, Texas.
The show was part of the 52nd Sierra Leone Independence anniversary that our country celebrates on April 27th. Championed by the group leader Mr. Ben Miller, the Texas Paddle is essentially a nuclear family forged in our history that continues to hold as a touchstone in our culture.
The Texas Paddle organization was established in September 2012 with a view to share Sierra Leone contemporary music and dance to the United States, showing the devil masking as a cultural phenomenon. Our costumes, music and dance styles clearly demonstrated to the American people the Sierra Leone cultural identity, Mr. Ben Miller the head of Texas Paddle said.
People from different cultural background venerated in the relics and songs of Paddle. The devil’s costumes fashioned in different style during its two performances of day and night events. Americans viewed the show as an extraordinary because of Paddle’s prevailing costumes. “This is an intercultural competence,” an American who watched the two performance show said. “Other African countries will soon follow suit as a realization of being in a freedom and democratic country,” another participant asserted.
Ideally, this Texas Paddle organization came about as an innovative program that seeks to bring Sierra Leoneans together and enhance the Sierra Leone culture in Texas. It will recreate positive interaction and rapport among the Sierra Leone community. And as we are celebrating our Independence anniversary every year on April 27, our Texas Paddle will also showcase once in the year, Mr. Miller said.
Celebration of the Sierra Leone Independence anniversary in the metroplex became an imbalance as only one organization, Sierra Stars Soccer Association (SSA) always took the challenge. It became an impediment for the entire community to come together on that historic day to celebrate the freedom of our motherland because of formation of numerous social and political organizations. It seems that people are much more interested in their local social clubs rather than considering coming together as one Sierra Leone to glorify our identity.
In this year’s Independence anniversary, Sierra Stars Soccer Association did it by playing a soccer match between Sierra Leone and Columbia. It was a first time encounter between the two countries and the Sierra Leone soccer team prevailed by beating the Columbian side 1-0.
The festivity continued on the night of April 27 in a fundraising dance. Even though there had been no provision to talk about the said Independence celebration but it is clear that the organization is constantly celebrating Independence anniversary every year. Many people in the dancing hall appeared colorfully in their green, white and blue, the Sierra Leone national colors that we are proud of.
The most popular disco joker in the city, Mr. Mohamed Bio ensured that all music played was fitting to dance the cultural style of Texas Paddle and that of Sierra Stars night where he made a mixture of all African and American music. It was so fascinating and thrilling to the attendees when DJ Bio played continuously just the hunting songs at Texas Paddle.
The Sierra Leone National Anthem was sung at the “Comojadae” of Texas Paddle while only the National pledge was sung in the opening dance floor during SSSA night on April 27. Prayers in both Islam and Christian way were conducted in any opening event.
Sanpha Sesay, Texas Chief Correspondent
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