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Saturday November 18th 2017

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Somali Women Dance the Buraanbur For Health and Cultural Wellness!

Somali women involved in the Backyard Initiative Community Health Action Team (CHAT), Project S.E.L.F., come together each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the Brian Coyle Center from 1 to 3 pm to dance the Buraanbur.  The Buraanbur is a traditional dance done by women at Somali weddings and other ceremonies. Miski Abdulle, one of the CHAT leaders of Project S.E.L.F., thought it would be a great way for Somali women to exercise, laugh together and preserve a cultural tradition. One of the younger leaders of this Backyard Initiative CHAT, Rahma Salah, helps to lead and teach this traditional dance.  A drum provides the beat, played by any of the women choosing to do so. The drum rhythm is an organic element of the dancing.

Somali women’s great, great grandmothers have danced the Buraanbur and the steps have been handed down through the generations. Now, at the Brian Coyle Center, this traditional dance is taught and enjoyed by a multi-generational group of women 18 years of age and older. The cultural tradition continues along with laughter and some good exercise .

More About The Activities of Project S.E.L.F. 

Project S.E.L.F. (SAVE, EDUCATE LIBERATE, FREE) is primarily a Somali-focused, immigrant health Community Health Action Team (CHAT), one of the original CHAT’s of the Backyard Initiative. It was established around a program called “Nomadic Expressions”, begun by CHAT leader, Amged Yusuf, aimed to assist youth, elders and families in healthy living and artistic expressions through poetry, open microphone performances, information workshops and community dialogue.  While continuing its original activities, efforts have increased to reach out specifically to Somali women engaged through this Backyard Initiative CHAT through the efforts of Amged’s mother, Miski Abdulle. The women come together to address specific women’s health issues and now to dance the Buraanbur! (see flyer this page).

The face of immigrant youth in our society is often unfavorable as there is more emphasis on those engaged in negative behaviors. Immigrant youth in our community are misguided and confused by conflicting messages between mainstream society and their original cultural ways. Communication across generations is strained and challenging. Youth are not responsive to guidance from the elders and are conflicted by peer pressure.

This BYI CHAT works to solve this problem by improving the health of all people living in the area of the Backyard Initiative with a focus on Somali people, especially elders, women and youth. These activities help to bridge the gap between the older and younger community members to encourage healthy relationships through various artistic mediums. Project S.E.L.F. hosts community engagement and dialogue activities, cultural celebrations and creative workshops where youth and elders can share their stories and learn more about their cultural traditions These activities include: Buraanbur Dance, Open Mic Shop and traditional Under the Tree storytelling events.

A Somali Elder and Hope Community resident wanted to meet more of her neighbors so eagerly helped to support Project S.E.L.F.’s idea of Shaah iyo Sheeko (Tea and Story Time) events. Now, every Thursday, Shaah iyo Sheeko occur from 3 to 4:30 pm at Hope Community in the Jourdain Building, 511 East Franklin Avenue. Shaah iyo Sheeko sessions are attended by Hope Community and other community residents from many cultures.  Topics are proposed and conducted by members of the Shaah iyo Sheeko group and co-hosted by Project S.E.L.F. CHAT leaders and Hope Community staff members, Khusaba Seka and Malyun Yayhe.

SOMALI WOMEN, come and learn Buraanbur — the lively, traditional Somali folk-dance. Join us at Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN,
every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-3 pm.

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