Thursday, September 8, 2011

Umhlanga Part Two

August 29th, 2011

The last and final day of the Reed Dance was today.  This is the dancing day.  All the troops assemble again and march into the stadium on the royal residence.  It reminded very much of a Native American Pow-Wow.  They come in on one end of the stadium, and circle around as a grand entrance, all while singing and dancing.  There is estimated to be 60,000-80,000 maidens and they just kept on coming.  It took 2 hours just to get them all into the stadium.  Once they enter they fill in the stadium in rows and begin a whole group dance of some sort.  I have no idea how they know what to do, but some will separate from their line and move forward to dance.  The dances were less energetic then yesterdays but we may have left before the main event happened.  The setting sun required us to leave early again, but the purpose of this day is to dance for the King.  When we were leaving the red carpet was just being rolled out for the King to, I assume, enter the field. 

All in all it was a fun cultural experience.  Many other PCVs were there so it was fun to experience it with them.  As much as I like seeing the real side of a country, its nice to just be a tourist once in a while.

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