Celebrating One World at the Afro-Pfingsten Festival

Celebrating One World at the Afro-Pfingsten Festival

3000 2000 Toni-Ann | The Swiss Freis

Celebrating One World at the Afro-Pfingsten Festival

We all share one world despite our many cultural and racial differences and the Afro-Pfingsten Festival in Winterthur Switzerland aims to highlight just that, World Unity!

In Jamaica our national motto is “Out of Many, One People” which simply means, even though our heritage stems from so many different races (black, caucasian, asian), we still are one people.

It was a pleasure to see that a festival in Switzerland was promoting a similar message on such a grand scale 🙂 In a world like ours that can often feel so segregated, it’s hard not to feel like the odd man out sometimes.

I mean, admit it, haven’t you ever just felt like an alien in certain situations or settings?

I know I surely have.

Living in a predominantly white country such as Switzerland can be quite overwhelming at times so its great when festivals like Afro-Pfingsten come along to celebrate unity through diversity.

Food | Music | Good Vibes

This was my first year attending the Afro-Pfingsten Festival and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The atmosphere was filled with energy and good vibes as people teemed through the streets of the Old Town of Winterthur (if you’re an architecture enthusiast like me you’d love this old town!)

The festivities run for an ENTIRE week and are chock-filled with fun activities for just about anyone to enjoy. The day market offers a myriad of options for persons to buy items ranging from clothing, trinkets (drums, sculptures etc.) and jewelry. You name it, they’ve got it!

Vendor selling dream catchers and jewelry at the day market

Vendor selling dream catchers and jewelry at the day market

Bob Marley T-Shirt

Bob Marley made his way on the scene on this t-shirt being sold by a vendor

The food options were so much that I often couldn’t even decide! Should I go with African, Indian or Asian cuisine?

An interracial couple ordering Ethiopian food

An interracial couple (woot woot) ordering Ethiopian food

Food vendor cooking meat kebabs

An entertaining fire show as this vendor cooks up these meat kebabs

Asian food

Asian food prepared by a vendor

While eating or enjoying a beer there was free live entertainment from talented musicians who all came from different cultural backgrounds. Throughout the streets bands from all musical genres entertained the festival goers. African musicians played their drums as dancers danced along to the lively beats. Latin musicians sang to lively guitar riffs. There was musical entertainment to suit any taste! A part of the fun of this environment too was that at any moment a spontaneous live entertainment act could pop-up.

Boy watches African drummers as they perform

A young boy’s cultural appreciation for these African drummers as they perform

A woman demonstrates African dance moves as the drummers play music

A woman demonstrates African dance moves as the drummers play music

But what if I have to go to work? I’d miss all the fun!

Nope!

The fun didn’t only happen during the day time but also extended into night time activities as well. Each night featured events ranging from movie screenings to music concerts. Each musical concert had a themed night highlighting different genres of music such as Afro-Latin and Southern African music. However, for me the best night of all  was of course, Reggae Night!

Reggae Night

Is it any surprise that one of the highlights of the festival for me was it’s Reggae Night? Surely not! Like a true Jamaican I simply HAD to see the Reggae concert that was held on Friday, June 2!

It was amazing to see so many Jamaican artists taking the stage to share their message in Reggae music (not to mention how great it felt to be around fellow Jamaicans & hearing them speak the local Jamaican dialect, patois). The artists: Warrior King , Macka B , Jah’Mila and Mikey General all moved the crowd with their melodious music. We even got the chance to meet a new Swiss artist by the name of Yozayah whose voice sounds as if angels were singing (be on the look out for her!).

Jah'Mila at Afro-Pfingsten Festival's Reggae Night

Jah’Mila at Afro-Pfingsten Festival’s Reggae Night

Warrior King and Yozayah at Afro-Pfingsten Festival's Reggae Night

Warrior King and Yozayah at Afro-Pfingsten Festival’s Reggae Night

Macka B at Afro-Pfingsten Festival's Reggae Night

Macka B at Afro-Pfingsten Festival’s Reggae Night

Mikey General at Afro-Pfingsten Festival's Reggae Night

Mikey General at Afro-Pfingsten Festival’s Reggae Night

Interviews with Jamaican Reggae Artists Mikey General and Jah’Mila

One of the stand out moments of the Reggae night was the opportunity to interview two of the Jamaican artists who performed that night, Mikey General and Jah’Mila. Jerry’s sound group Souljourney Sound and I got access to the backstage area where we got to meet these two wonderful artists. Take a listen to our interviews below ?

Mikey General

Mikey General is a veteran in the game of Reggae music so it was naturally a pleasure to hear some wise words of wisdom from this talented Jamaican singer.

“The Almighty blessed me with a voice…I’m going to use it to do positive things to send a positive message to uplift people “- Mikey General

Jah’Mila

Jah’Mila is a Jamaican Reggae star on the rise. Her sultry voice and conscious lyrics will have you fall in love with her musical passion.

“The message has to be love… Segregation will never work” – Jah’Mila

A big shout out to Jah’Mila and Mikey General for doing an interview with me for Toxic.fm!

Official Afro-Pfingsten Aftermovie Video

See You Next Year!

If you’re looking to enjoy some free entertainment in a totally relaxed environment, the Afro-Pfingsten Festival is just the festival you need to be at! Enjoy some of what the world has to offer all within this small old town. Oh, and if you decide to come by next year, let’s meet up because I’ll surely be there!

xoxo

The Swiss Freis

Afro-Pfingsten Image Gallery 

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