June 22, 2012

On Pan Flutes, Water, and [loving people at] La Fête de la Musique

la fete de la musique in grenoble, france.

Last night was France’s 30th annual Fête de la Musique. This roughly translates: festival of music/music day/party where everyone in the whole city goes outside to enjoy music (not to be confused with "children of the music"...that would be enfants, not fête). Apparently it’s becoming more and more popular around Europe and the rest of the world, according to the website dedicated to the event.

The event itself could strike some as unconventional. The streets are flooded with a mix of all ages: children, young people, old people. They gallivant through the streets grooving to the beat of all kinds of music: gospel, rock, pop, brass marching bands, electronic techno, reggae, Peruvian pan flutes, etc.

If you ignore the very obvious connection (la fête de la musique is always on June 21) to pagan summer solstice ceremonies, which included dancing and chanting. However, since several now-“Christian” holidays have pagan roots, it seems unwise and unnecessary to condemn a celebration solely on the basis of the date on the calendar.

Thousands of people in each city around France gather in the streets to celebrate the universal language of music. While excessive indulgence simultaneously takes place, the unity of this kind of event is admirable. People look past racial, cultural, lingual, socio-economic, age, and generational gaps for one night; embracing the one thing they have in common: their humanity.

remix water bottle.
In an effort to meet the very human need of thirst, about 16 people from Remix student group meandered through the crowds, passing out over 800 water bottles in a matter of about 2 hours. Stickers with some words Jesus said and the group’s contact information were stuck on every bottle. French people hate religion, especially when it is not kept private. This simple act of sharing kindness with people is a small way that the love the Christian community has for its city can be seen on a night when all other barriers have been taken down.

No comments:

Post a Comment