Vieux Farka Toure – Peace
Mali is known as a predominantly Muslim country, yet Christmas is a public holiday. Not quite that bizarre if you remember that Jesus is a very important character in many religions, including both Islam and Christianity, and note that 5% of Malian’s are Christians. We must also consider the inevitable affects of centuries of European colonial occupation on the Malian calendar, although it is not clear when December 25th became a public holiday. Codifying religious occasions with public holidays can cause difficulties anywhere in the world, for example this case from Bradford, UK involving a Muslim school-girl, Christmas Carols and Iranian-American academic Reza Aslan (who incidentally has spent parts of his life as both a practising Christian and Muslim).
It is with great warmth that this week’s song of the week is published, knowing tomorrow many of the world’s people, including Brits and Malian’s alike, will be holidaying at once, in whatever fashion suits them. What we must surely want for Christmas, and is captured beautifully by Vieux Farka Touré’s hymn-like music, is peace.