Linking Cultures – UWW India
Cultures play a very important role in the moulding of any society. Keeping this in mind, we decided to organise an international food festival that was a platform to express ‘linking cultures’. A small but welcoming park, Milton Street Park, with a beautiful garden, in the city of Bangalore in India was our destination. The proceeds went in contribution to a fellow Youth for a United World: Solomon, who is an integral part of our initiative #pizza by Upcycle.
This initiative was our response, the youth in Bangalore – India, to the emergency in the Middle East declared by the Movement in August 2014. It is a pizza making and delivery project, undertaken on weekends by the Youth for a United World (Y4UW) of the city. It is also a platform for the youth to invite their friends to help and experience the Ideal. This was how Solomon met the Movement, through his friends, who are Y4UW.
In April 2016, Solomon met with a road accident and suffered severe injuries to his skull. By the grace of God, he is recovering slowly, but indeed strongly. His hospital expenses are very high, however.
We thought this to be a wonderful moment to draw not just monetary support to Solomon, but, most importantly to show support in loving him. Plenty of people poured in to help generously by putting up food stalls, artwork stalls and even a last minute exclusive headphone stall. The focus was the food stall. We had the world modestly represented in all the food that was present. From Brazil to the Philippines, we had them all. The weather was kind to us and so were all the people (youth, children and adults) who patronised our cause. The Youth for a United World and the families of the Focolare came forward to make lip-smacking delicacies. A biker’s club also collaborated with us, making the experience wonderful. They organised ‘A Ride for a Cause’ that covered 23 kms, ending at the park, the venue of the fest.
This small act of love indeed grew, and as Chiara Lubich said, our small ‘yes’ to a loving God gave us the strength to say a bigger ‘yes’. Over 500 people visited our United World Week space – students, artists, bikers, working professionals and even families, between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. We also had a bunch of children who were from deprived social and economic backgrounds come in and contribute.
The fraternity among all of us was contagious. Indeed, our appetite to love has not ended.