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23 August 2005

Happy Umhlanga Day!!


Y

es, it's come around once again... and I bet you didn't even notice. Did you? Traditional ceremonies are an integral part of Swazi life, in Swaziland, despite the advent of modernization. I just love the old, traditional holidays... don't you?

But first before I go on, please note the females are all topless in the picture.

Umhlanga or the Reed Dance which is held during a week at the end of August or early September. Swazi maidens, of marriageable age, gather at the Queen Mother's residence and set out in parties to gather reeds. The reeds are used to repair the windbreak around the Queen Mothers residence.

The girls return by the fourth evening and spend the fifth day preparing their elaborate costumes for dancing. The singing and rhythmic dancing takes place on the afternoon of the sixth and seventh days at the Royal Village. Photography is permitted at the Umhlanga, provided a permit is first obtained from the Tourist Office.

Y'all know how strongly I feel about honoring customs and holidays around the world and I think this one is exceptional. Therefore my blog will be the unofficial headquarters of the Umhlanga Day, U.S. branch. Now in order to participate in the parade all of you females first have to be topless, just like in the picture. Second, send me photos of your participation, include your female neighbors also. I guarantee the Umhlanga gods will be smiling. I did mention this was a topless parade, didn't I?

Observations and Questions
So who wants to be the first to sign up as Umhlanga co-ordinator in your town?

Birth Announcements and Death Notices

In 1912, Gene Kelly, Pittsburgh, PA., dancer/actor (An American in Paris, Going My Way) In our death notices today we have in 1926, Rodolpho Alfonzo Rafaello Pietro Filiberto Guglieimi Di Valentina D'Antonguolla... whew... better known as Rudolph Valentino, silent movie idol, dies in NY at 31.

Gentle Reminder of the Day

Still time :) Come on, you know you wanna send in your picture.

Comments:
Good idea bout the Umhlanga but ou don't need a festival to enjoy Zulu dancing at its finest. Its always topless. Plus, the guys don't wear a whole lot either.
 
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