For those of you who are regular blog readers, you’ll know that Arun Gandhi was coming to East Lothian. I heard him talk on Monday and it was wonderful. He held a session for local school children in the afternoon and then the general public in the evening. He had lots of stories about how his grandfather (Mohandas Gandhi) had influenced his life and told them in such a reserved and calm manner. One story was about when he was a boy he threw away a pencil because he thought it was “too short” and was just going to ask his grandfather for a new one. However, Gandhi made him go back out and look for the pencil in the dark to teach him the lesson that man was over-using the world’s natural resources and that people consume things just because they can, but ultimately this means that others cannot access the same resources. Gandhi said Arun’s act was ”violence against nature”. It was interestingly a similar view to our own John Muir about the importance of protecting the environment, but before such issues had really reached the wider public conscience.
We also went on a march on Saturday 10th October to commemorate the Suffragettes who campaigned for “Votes for Women!”. We had our own East Lothian banner, created by attendees at a Suffragette Coffee Morning back in September. A group of pupils from Preston Lodge High joined our group and managed to get themselves interviewed and in lots of photos throughout the walk! It ended on Calton Hill where speeches and singing took place. Sheila and I also walked to the very edge of the hill to get a few photos. It was a tad windy as you may be able to see from the photos!
And as for the bellydancing reference in the title? Multi-Cultural Day at Prestongrange of course. We’ve got a variety of cultures represented including a French Puppet Show, Polish tour of the museum, an Indian Dancer, Zimbabwean Poets and the local Sangstream Choir and Grants Braes Burns Club. There will be a huge marquee outside the Visitor Centre and I’ll be heading there on Saturday to get it all set up and ready to go for first thing on Sunday. We have no idea what our visitor numbers will be for the day…hopefully the 144 chairs will be an alright guestimate!
If you’ve attended an event as part of Black History Month this year, do let us know what you thought!