Every now and then I find myself thanking or apologizing to my future self. Eight years ago I visited Bloomington with my seminar group for dinner and the Lotus Festival our freshmen year. There were so many great performers that evening and I was truly impressed by the ambiance of the city. Walking around at one point I remember thinking to myself “I would like to live here one day…”
Fast-forward, here I live in Bloomington, looking at the Lotus Festival schedule—fighting my nostalgia as I think of dinner options (eight years ago my seminar group went to a Thai restaurant for dinner) before the performances. The Lotus Festival is my favorite thing about Bloomington because it is a perfect reflection of what I want to see in the world. Culture is a multifaceted term here, you come in with your own and you leave with so much more. Music and the numerous festivals it inspires provides us with the blueprint of equality, from musicians complementing each other in song to listeners from various backgrounds connected under a groove, nothing makes me happier than to see communities coming together in peace. To visit the Lotus Festival you are saying, “Hey I’m not resisting, teach me all you can world, through your sounds.”
I remember sitting in a church listening to the Irish band Teada, which led to researching Irish music and culture and finding one of my heroes Frederick Douglass not only lived there but also has a mural dedicated to his activism there.
courtesy of youtube.com
The Lotus Festival allowed me to extend my social and cultural boundaries. This extension has given me so much more depth and accessibility to my own identity through other cultures. This is an experience unique to Bloomington and I hope that you get a chance to share that experience with others…
Please be sure to visit their website to read about current and previous performers: http://lotusfest.org/