Hello, my name is Seyoung and I have been involved with NextGEN Korea and NextGENOA over the past years. Last year I went on a trip to participate in GENOA activities for the first time since the pandemic. My journey began with the Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) Asian Dance Camp in Vietnam and it continued with the Gaia Calling in Thailand.
A few months before, I joined the DUP sessions in Korea and I felt a very strong connection with myself, the group, and also Arjun – our dance facilitator who came from Colombia to share this practice with us. The session was such a healing experience and I recognized a familiar feeling that I experienced when I first met the NextGEN community. As I participated involve myself in the workshop, I thought to myself “Yeah, I think I have reconnected with the power of community.” So I decided to go to the Asian camp in Vietnam to get a deeper experience of the dances.
Around 86 people came to participate in this camp. They came from all around the world from countries like the USA, Mexico, Netherlands, UK, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Malaysia and many more. In this camp, I was able to reconnect with old friends from NextGENOA such as Yadana and Shushu from Myanmar who shared with us their stories on how their country was in the middle of a civil war and they had to pass warzones to be able to join the camp. I was in so much appreciation that we were able to have them in the camp with us, what a privilege we had to be able to be together in person, in the here and now.
We opened and closed the DUP sessions with a Sufi prayer that was translated into different languages spoken in Asian countries. In English, the prayer goes like this:
Towards the One,
The Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
The Only Being, United with all the Illuminated Souls
Who form the Embodiment of the Master,
The Spirit of Guidance.
From this prayer, I found why we are all here together in this camp. As individual people, we live very different ways of living in different environments. However, even though we are far and very different from each other, we share a common question: how can we offer ourselves to make society and the world more peaceful? This gathering is solid evidence that we are not alone in walking such a path. There are a lot of people from different parts of the world who share this same mission in their hearts. Some are already working together to realize a more beautiful and peaceful world.
All of this is about who I am and who we are. We are only starting to realize that the suffering that we face in society is because we have been losing the sense of community or connection with nature and even between ourselves – and fellow human beings.
When was the last time that you sincerely wished something good for others, no matter what religion you or they follow? When was the last time you listened to other people and laughed, cried, or were angry with the other?
When was the last time you spoke about yourself to others, about your true feelings and thoughts? Speaking truthfully from the deepest depth of your heart?
Perhaps making a peaceful world is not that difficult to do after all. We can hold hands, look deeply at the eyes of each other, and listen to our inner voices so we can make voices together. This is my biggest learning from DUP.
So I believe the power of community also lies in our shared belief. And in our case, we all are reminded why we have to come to this Earth: to love and serve each other.
Seyoung Park. South Korea
A lover of cooking who respects farmers more than any other. Seyoung Park visited ecological villages around the world to learn from the perspective of ‘peace’ and ‘food’. Throughout this journey, our lives remain in the food we eat and read about. Sharing food filled with people of different languages and cultures, she immediately was able to receive honest stories of life. Believing the path to happiness begins with our soul food, she met people all over the world, documenting their soul food on these pages. Seyoung is involved in NextGEN Korea and currently runs a soul food community kitchen called ‘Jipssi’ in Mokpo.