Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures
by Jan Reynolds
Much digital ink has already been spilled about this fascinating collection of multi-culti photos of indiginous groups in such far-flung locales as the Himalayas, the Arctic, the Outback and the Sahara desert. Some of my favorite bloggers, Liz and Kelly and Camille, have lauded the way Reynolds links Americans to other peoples through our celebrations: the way we all play music of some sort, or decorate ourselves or prepare a special meal.
I'll let you read their thoughtful takes.
I pulled this book off the shelf last night because I like the way it makes the world a little smaller and brings us a little closer at a time when far-away troubles are making headlines and causing worries the world over. Okay, so nobody from any of the globe's hot zones are featured here, but it still got me kinda misty-eyed.
Reynolds, who lived among all the peoples she photographed, has a knack for bridging our differences and pulls together such disparate threads as Halloween costumes and Inuit hunting rituals. Her journalistic pics are what former colleagues of mine would've called storytellers, rather than the stylized, artsy-fartsy compositions you might find in coffee table tomes.
But mostly I just like it because, while people's celebrations are timeless and universal, the book struck me as topical too.
Sometimes we all need reminding that while big things -- religion, politics, economics -- separate us, it's the small things that really matter, like how we gather to give thanks or greet people we haven't seen in a while or mark the amazing journey from boy to man or pass along our hard-won lore to our children.
Here's wishing everyone a smaller, closer world. We certainly need it.