Tennesseans got a taste of Africa right here at home at the Second Annual Sudanese-American Festival held on Saturday, Sept. 20, at TreveccaNazareneUniversity.
The theme of the festival was "Creating a Bridge Between Cultures." Its purpose was to promote understanding and awareness among people from America about those from the African nation of southern Sudan. There is a significant population of southern Sudanese who came to live in Nashville as refugees from civil war in their home country. Some are known as "Lost Boys" because they had to abandon homes and families at a very young age to flee from the violence.
The festival ran from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM and featuree food vendors, crafts and entertainment representing both nations. Nashville's Sudanese community served traditional Sudanese food and showed off Sudanese artisanship.
Festival activities also included inflatables and face painting for the kids and demonstrations from local Lost Boys on how to "mold" Sudanese cows out of clay. A selection of vendors were on hand selling an array of unique jewelry and handcrafted goods.
The event was presented by Aid Sudan, an inter-denominational, non-profit organization serving the southern Sudanese in several targeted locations in Sudan and through U.S. offices in Dallas, Houston and Nashville. Their goal is to help the southern Sudanese people grow through community development and find hope in the wake of the devastation of their former way of life.
Booths from various organizations will be set up to provide information on Sudan, the work that is being done locally and how Nashville citizens can get involved.