Yam Festival caps the fall Semester as our Teachers fly to Kenya for another Waldorf module
Yam, or locally known as igname, is a staple food in West Africa. About 94% of the world’s total Yam production comes from the region and the cultivation began some 11,000 years ago. Yam is a part of the indigenous heritage and the starchy tubers play an important cultural role, along with filling the bellies of millions of families. They can for example be used in fertility treatments and marriage ceremonies. Yam production is very profitable despite high production cost. Yams are grown by planting pieces of tuber, or small whole tubers saved from the previous season. Small-scale farmers, the majority of producers, often intercrop yams with cereals and vegetables. Yam can be stored for up to eight months and are resilient to the humid and hot climate. Should you venture to one of the local markets you will see an abundance of different sized carts with yam being pulled to serve the many vending stands. [https://www.iita.org/cropsnew/dioscoria/]
The celebration of festivals is an important part of Waldorf education. A festival is a joyous celebration of life, and has the quality of lifting us out of the ordinary and into the mysteries and magic of the rhythm of the seasons. Throughout history, festivals have emerged from people’s connection with their spiritual life and their search for the meaning of human existence. The celebrations are interwoven with the life of the earth and the cycles of nature. Many faith-based traditions recognize the spiritual realities behind different passages during the year, and that is why special observances cluster together on the calendar. In the Waldorf tradition, festivals are meant to reflect the spiritual reality of what is happening to the earth during important passages during the year. [http://waldorfstl.org/festivals/]
It is hard to believe how fast the year has gone by. Our yam festival caps the fall semester as our teachers are now leaving for their fourth module in Kenya at the Waldorf East Africa Training center. We will share more from their experience and you can follow their adventure at our Facebook page. Join me in wishing them a fruitful and beautiful journey!
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