Monday, March 23, 2015

Oro Valley "Meet Yourselves" Featured Religious Teachings

Oro Valley celebrated diverse cultures this past weekend. The event was sponsored by Town of Oro Valley and Vestar, Oro Valley Marketplace and produced by Southwest Folklife Alliance.

"Experience the authentic, community-based cultural traditions and folk-life of Oro Valley: music, dance, manual arts, occupation customs, foodways and stories of home and place."

The event was only somewhat about "cultures." Most of the space was devoted to food vendors, sponsors, and vintage cars (The vintage cars were really cool!).

In the middle there was a GFRD truck and fire personnel. The kids really loved it and the personnel were very cool!

So, to an extent, the event was a like a "Fair."

The only cultural exhibits that we could find was a table hosted by a Ukranian group and several Tohono Nation tables displaying working carvings and related arts.

Imagine the surprise of one of our readers when the reader came upon Islam religious teachings at the event. "Islam is a religion. It is not a culture," that individual wrote us.

So, Sunday, we went to the festival. The "main street stage" hosted an islamic religious leader speaking about the religious tenets.  The stage was large and it had a high volume sound system. So the individual's words could he heard everywhere. There were to be "chantings and recitations." Later, "Islam 101" took place in the folklore pavilion.

There was a discussion of "Jewish Ritual Objects" and their importance from a cultural perspective.

There were events that did focus solely on culture: Mexican wood carvings, origami, and and indian decorative arts. There was a presentation of "Kosher Challah Baking."

All of the events may have served the purpose of the Southwest Folklore Alliance. This is to "...celebrate the everyday expressions of culture, heritage and diversity in the Greater Southwest."

We wonder...

Should the Town Of Oro Valley have promoted an event that extols religious teachings? .

What do you think?

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