Cultural Day encourages Scouts to embrace differences, celebrate unity
In high spirits, colourful sights, and harmonious sounds, Scouts from all walks of life gathered for a day of multicultural festivities at the World Scout Jamboree on 26 July. The Cultural Celebration Day embraces the cultural diversity of the Scout Movement and celebrates the unity of young people from around the globe at every Jamboree.
On this day, the Jamboree became even more vibrant as participants wore colourful traditional attire, performed dances and shared the flavours of their national foods. Cultural dresses filled up the Jamboree, from Scottish kilts and Korean hanboks to Kenyan masai suka and Japanese kimonos. Scouts also showcased their heritage through many folklore dances and performances like the Palestinian dabke, Brazilian samba, South African indlamu and the Mexican jarabe tapatio that filled the day with ongoing entertainment.
“It’s very interesting to meet and celebrate people from all around the world and learn about their cultures. It shows us that we may look different and speak different languages, but that we are all young people with very similar interests,” said Marcos, a Scout from Hong Kong attending his first World Scout Jamboree.
The Jamboree offers young people an opportunity to learn about and better understand different cultures from around the world, forming life-long friendships with people from near and far. At noon, both Muslim and non-Muslim Scouts gathered at the Faiths & Beliefs tents for regular Friday Prayers. Girl Scouts engaged in discussions about how different faiths are incorporated into Scouting in their countries.
“Cultural Celebration Day is a reminder of the spirit and values of Scouting as an educational movement for young people that is inclusive to all regardless of gender, ethnicity or cultural background,” said Beatriz Candeias, Junior Manager, Diversity and Inclusion with the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
The multi-cultural celebrations took place across the Jamboree basecamps during the day and culminated at night with a marvellous Unity Show that left 45,000 young people in awe. The spectacular evening show was filled with heritage, live performances and an inspirational guest appearance.
The Unity Show focused on the heritage of one of the 24th World Scout Jamboree hosts, Mexico. A Marijachi band performance was complemented by colourful Mexican folk dancers, and the culture of Mexico was brought to light on stage.
The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, inspired thousands of young people with a powerful message:
“There are hundreds of reasons that divide us but there are millions of reasons that unite us,” said Jayathma. “In order to bring true sustainable lasting peace, it’s not only politicians who should take leadership, it is the communities, especially the young people. I hope each one of you will be a champion of peace in your community,” she continued.
The crowd continued to cheer through the night as live performances stole the show and Scouts from over 150 countries stood side-by-side singing along to the uniting power of music. A World Scout Jamboree bridges cultures and boundaries to create a global educational experience that will last a lifetime.