Tag Archives: DFK2014

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Breaking news! Kindness Revolution in Stockholm

There are days when you walk right in the middle of the street. You breathe deeply, scattering around shining smiles. And you catch passers’-by gazes – sometimes surprised, often distrustful, but more and more often – warmly encouraging. After a while, you realize that a smile can perform miracles…

It was a greyish Sunday afternoon. November treated Stockholm nicely: no snow yet, just a little drizzle. The spacy square of Sergels Torg was enjoying its fair bit of rest. Busy week-days were lying ahead…

Suddenly, a couple of people in orange froze in a hugging pose right in the middle of the square. Soon, more and more orange shirts joined in. Some were kneeling to help their buddies with shoe ties, others – reaching out to offer an umbrella, or to give directions to tourists, or to encourage the disappointed, or to offer a tissue to somebody crying.  Was it how it looked from the outside? I was standing in an orange sweater in this crowd of weirdoes, catching some surprised gazes, and bursting with excitement.  The same day, the same song, the same dance, – 80 cities around the globe united by Dance for Kindness!

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Gentle music was playing in the background. It was getting louder and louder, until one seemingly frozen orange shirt woke up. She moved forward and started dancing. 2 more joined in. 8 more! Wait, but they are all dancing, – orange shirts and bright scarves, 8-year old kiddos and grandpas, – jumping, and spinning, and screaming “The revolution of Love!”.  I was in the moment, feeling the energy of every move, and eager to spread the warmth of that feeling all around me.

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One moment to be happy, where you are
Don’t think about yesterday, don’t re-open scars
Be the one to knock the first domino over
once you smile so will that guy over your shoulder…

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Yep, we’ve all experienced that feeling: like the world is ours. And we laugh, and dance, and shine with happiness. Why not empower others, smile to strangers, spread that feeling on inclusion and encouragement? After all, happiness grows exponentially when shared!

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Credit for the photos: Deesha Domah

Credit for the song words: Charlotte Bromner, Life Vest Inside web-site

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Would fifty switch to English for one? The story of one dancing lesson

Imagine this: you are at the rehearsal before a dance flashmob. Trying to understand the explanations – all in Swedish, you suddenly hear the lead dancer asking: “Does everyone understand Swedish here?” Would the instructor and fifty-something dancers switch to English for one person’s sake? If you are in Sweden, the answer is: YES!

I remember the story one Korean friend told me a year ago, when I did my exchange semester in Austria. So his story went … “I’m in the kitchen, all absorbed with my cooking, when two Swedish guys come in. They’re talking about their own stuff, when I suddenly realize I can understand them… They started speaking English between themselves, because I was there in the kitchen!”

I never cease being amazed about how open-minded Swedes are. Last Sunday, I went to that dancing session without second thoughts about the language. I know the steps, and dancing shouldn’t be too much of a language barrier. But one shouldn’t underestimate the feeling of inclusion one feels when speaking the same language as everyone else. That’s why I couldn’t help but feel grateful to Maria, our lead dancer, for asking that question: whether everyone could understand Swedish.

I should drop a line about the symbolism of it… What we were rehearsing was Dance for Kindness, the flashmob to take place all over the Planet next Sunday, November 9th, on World Kindness Day. I’ll make sure to share my impressions from the flashmob, so stay tuned!

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Credit for the Headline photo: official Dance For Kindness 2014 banner. Official FB page here.

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A pre-dancing inspiration from our Head Dancer, Maria Huhtinen. Credit for the photo: Deesha Domah

 

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Dance for Kindness in motion. Credit for the photo to Deesha Domah