SMC Celebrates World Water Day

Students hanging around the quad last Monday got to enjoy a celebration put on by dance instructor Linda Yudin and her Afro-Brazilian dance students for World Water Day. Also accompanying the dancers were drum leaders Luiz Badaró, Kevin Moore II and Te'Amir Sweeney. Environmental Policies teacher Amber Katherine joined Linda Yudin in efforts to teach students about the importance of World Water Day.

Few students were aware that World Water Day has existed for the last 18 years. It was founded by the United Nations to address different problems about the world's water and ways to resolve them. This year's theme was the drinkability and access to clean water.

"Of the 6.7 billion people on earth today, nearly one billion people lack access to safe, clean water. More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related diseases," Katherine said to the audience amidst the drumming and dancing.

"While others in the world go without, the U.S. is the highest per capita water consumer in the world. If the wars of the twentieth century were fought over oil, the wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water."

After Katherine's speech, the drummers began a fast samba beat and the dancers cheered and chanted in a traditional Afro-Brazilian dance. After dancing and offering a basket of fruits and vegetables to the water fountain spirit, Yudin invited the on-lookers to join in on a free dance lesson on the nearby lawn.

Monica Kiguelman, 28, a first time student of Yudin, said, "The [Afro-Brazilian] class is spiritual and is in touch with each element."

Lorenzo Right, 23, has been taking Afro-Brazilian classes outside of SMC for eight years. Not only was he playing the tambourine alongside the dancers, but he also engaged in a traditional Capoeira dance, a choreographed fight. "Yemaja is the African Godess of Water that today's dance has called to. In Afro-Brazilian dance we are taught to respect nature," says Right of his training.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, economically developing countries are the ones who are going to be affected most by Global Warming. In an online brochure released by the NRDC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that "by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people in Africa will suffer increased water stress due to climate change. In East Africa, snow is already disappearing from mountains like Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, affecting the local communities that depend on the rivers and streams fed by these mountain snows."

Communities around the United States have had events raising awareness for World Water day that began as early as a week ago in Sacramento. The Chronicles Group/Running Dry Project will host a June panel discussion in Washington, D.C. about making a sustainable future for water.

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