Sometimes people ask me if I get tired of watching and listening to drumming. The simple answer is no. I love good music, and what could be better than getting to listen to good music live on a regular basis free of charge? Sometimes it is hard when I have travelled with Ray and his family to towns in Guatemala and Honduras for them to play for various cultural festivals. My Spanish is minimal, but even if I was fluent, it wouldn’t help much, as when they are together, Ray’s family and group and everyone else in the Garifuna towns and villages we travel to speak Garifuna almost exclusively. I do often feel out of place as the one white gal sitting amongst a large group of Garifuna people blatantly not understanding one word of what is being said, and sometimes I feel like people who don’t know I’m married to Ray are staring at me and wondering what I’m doing there. That is where knowing how to do a little dance helps – being semi proficient at shaking your arse Garifuna style is a very useful skill in such circumstances and does wonders at breaking down cultural barriers. Who’d ever have thought I’d be so grateful for my big arse. Big backsides are in fact greatly loved and admired by most Belizeans, especially the Garifuna. Phrases such as “sit your nice big bottom down here my dear” are quite common, as the bigger the ass, the more there is to shake, and since all Belizean dancing involves shaking your ass, the bigger the better.
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