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Festival meditates on South Indian culture

Central focus on the ‘yoga of sound’

Orange County can expect an infusion of foreign colors, dancers, music and everything that is different from mainstream American culture at the Krishna Culture Festival Tour, coming Friday to the Carrboro Century Center.

The Krishna Culture Festival holds biannual tours around North America and South America.

On Friday, the performance team will make a stop in Carrboro for the first time as part of its summer tour.

“(Audience members) will get a glimpse of an other worldly culture,” said Emanuel Kaseder, volunteer organizer of the Krishna Culture Festival Tours, who goes by his spiritual name Manu.

“While by traditional standards it is a religious event, to us it’s much more. It’s about giving and loving and serving humanity in the sense that we are all related to each other as brothers and sisters.”

Based out of Florida, the tour features performers aged from about 16 to 20.

The event will begin with a South Indian classical temple dance and continue to a slide show about sacred sounds.

“(This) is a fascinating slide show on the topic of how sound vibrations create intricate patterns in droplets of water … and how these sounds influence our consciousness and bring about good luck,” Kaseder said.

The slide show will then lead into a interactive session of mantra meditation — meditating with a specific sound measured against rhythmic breathing.

Albert Hill, who goes by his spiritual name Dayavira and is a congregation member of the Iskcon Hare Krishna New Golaka temple in Hillsborough, said mantra meditation is popular in yoga studios around Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

After mantra meditation, the performance team will demonstrate Kirtan, a type of call-and-response chanting accompanied by singing and dancing.

Kirtan is also commonly known as the yoga of sound.

Weekly Kirtan sessions are also held on Franklin Street in front of the post office, but Hill said this will be a calmer, more formal lesson that will allow for better relaxation and peace of mind during meditation.

“People who attend will get a natural way to get a release in their life from stress or anxieties,” Hill said.

The program will conclude with a Trasad, a traditional dinner with ethnic Indian foods.

Most of the scheduled events are standard to Krishna culture, but the opportunity to see a talented team of diverse performers might give people a more artistic experience.

“People from all over and of all different races are performing (with us), so it’s interesting to see how the spiritual culture of India is being practiced outside of India,” Kaseder said.

Contact the City Editor at citydesk@unc.edu.

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