One thing that I love about Ugandan culture is the way that music is so seamlessly incorporated into so many aspects of life. Singing and dancing are a part of most occasions, regardless of how serious. As somebody who is musically challenged (at least when it comes to singing) I appreciate the complete lack of self consciousness associated with singing and dancing and the related lack of biting and sarcastic comments about other’s abilities. Music and dancing are joyful, community activites that everyone should join in regardless of their ability, and everyone is too busy enjoying the moment to analyze the skills or lack of skills in others.
A great example of how music is incorporated into various occasions was at our recent Annual General Meeting. Two of our partners, Susan and Solomon, have done some singing together and have even created a CD. They had an opportunity to share a song with us to close the meeting which included a lot of energetic traditional dancing from their region. Everyone clapped along and cheered, and I couldn’t help but think how something like this would be so out of place in an Annual General Meeting in the US. But here, in Uganda, where dancing is always appropriate, it was the perfect way to end our meeting.