Welcome to the Mayborhood
So as I’ve talked about in numerous posts in the past, I’m in a Mayfield — but now I’m actually in a Mayfield. Here’s a quick recap of what we do. We’re all about promoting awareness and respect for cultural diversity, and we do that through hosting movie nights, running a Facebook page, and putting on a couple of big events; we’re planning one that revolves around Halloween-esque themes and traditions.
Now, I’ve said “we” a few times. How many is “we,” you might ask? Ten people. Ten of us are crammed into a rather cozy space. Naturally, there are some difficulties to such an arrangement: figuring out how to divvy up household maintenance, adapting to people’s noise and activity, etc. Conversely, there are some undeniably cool perks. First, we each have a single. Oh, gone are the days of sharing a room; ‘tis all my domain now. What really makes the Mayfield is the community within the house, though. Just check out this impeccable piece of photography.
We do our work, we do our project, but we can still be a bunch of goofballs and have a great time with each other.
But regarding that whole “doing the project” thing, we’ve actually been pretty active in attending events around campus and Nashville. Seeing as the project is about 10% my baby, I’d like to share some of what we’ve seen, things that you can see if you come to Vanderbilt!
If we’re going chronologically (we are), Garba comes first! This year, Garba was a co-sponsored event run by Vanderbilt’s SACE and VPB’s The VenUe. Though I’m not super qualified to explain the event, I understood it as a Hindu festival that celebrates the unity of life, and one way we celebrated was by dancing, often in a circle.
It was an enlightening experience to see people, many of whom had no affiliation with Hinduism, simply join in with the festivities and fun. It was a delightful evening full of smiling, dancing, eating (all right, lots of eating), and making memories.
Starting the next day and following for a week was an event called Celebrate Nashville. I went on the last day — and wow, if they were going that strong at the end, I can only imagine how enormous this series was at the start. The event took place in Centennial Park on the entire lawn in front of Nashville’s to-scale replica of the Parthenon. Just check this out!
Nashville has quite the diverse population, including a large number of refugees; I could definitely see this reflected in the bustling food trucks, the open-air market, and the stage filled with performers and surrounded by eager onlookers. Normally, I would think that Vanderbilt and other Nashville college campuses would be pinpoints of diversity in the American South. That said, it was amazing to see how seamlessly dozens of cultures interacted and welcomed each other in such a public space. I love to be part of this community, and my project is helping me find new and exciting ways to do exactly that.
Most recently, some friends and I attended a small event called Nashville in Solidarity with Standing Rock. Essentially, Standing Rock is the home of a Sioux tribe in North Dakota, and with little-to-no consultation with the tribe, an oil company began construction of a pipeline through their lands. The event was held to express support for the people in Standing Rock, both the Natives and those present and assisting their protest.
These are just some of the things I’ve been able to participate in while working on this project, and I expect only great things to continue. As per usual, I’ll make sure to share the greatest with you! If you have any questions or comments, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible!