The scene is picturesque in its beauty and vibrancy. A group of women sing a joyous chorus, inspiring the crowd behind them to join in their song. They are draped in multicolored print pagnes, and have bright strips of cloth tied around their heads that bob gently with the women as they proceed in a slow dance procession. The drum behind them beats a steady, comforting rhythm behind them. Their voices ring out with strength and confidence, and they graciously ignore the intrusive video camera capturing their intimate coming-together. Men, some in t-shirts, some in suits, and others in religious garb, clap a gentle, mesmerized rhythm as well.
The beautiful scene is captured in the Jatukik Providence Foundation's Ecovillage of Kibeti during its inauguration in 2007. When Westerners think of the D.R.C., they may think of imperialism, rubber, war, famine, sexual violence, but rarely do they think of this simple, peaceful scene of celebration, religion, and music. Religion and music are inextricably intertwined in Congolese culture, weaving together in a harmony that pulls a whole community together.
Learn about the Ecovillage and other Congolese initiatives through JPF's "Stand for Congo" event on August 1st. Check out our Facebook page and RSVP today!!