Some combinations just work and bring us joy—peanut butter and jelly, mornings and coffee, bagpipes and Indian music—you know, the classics.

What? You aren’t familiar with that last pairing? Well, let us introduce you to the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band.

Source: MaxPixel

The first Indian-Scottish pipe band was founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 1955 under the precedent of bringing a diverse community of individuals together. Now there are over 227 members in 6 bands around the globe, playing events from religious ceremonies to parades and political events.

It’s not often you find an organization started in Africa, with musical origins on a European island, intermingling the culture of Southeast Asia. These bands are a remarkable example of the beauty that can come when cultures find creative ways to join together.

So we turn to one of our favorite channels, Great Big Story, to learn a bit more. They’re bringing us to meet a few of the members of New Jersey’s branch of the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band!

“That uniqueness is what defines our band.”

Art and music have an incredible way of helping us ease into what’s possible. And this is especially true when we embrace our cultural diversity—particularly when that can seem a little daunting.

This creativity provides a space where we can communicate in unthreatening ways. Which, in turn, builds common ground for answering tougher questions that a lot of the time, creates something really quite wonderful.

Want to experience more of the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band?

As a bonus, I’m going to leave you with a really delightful clip from a 2015 performance at Wembley Stadium in London where the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band took the stage with the Dhol Academy from London and Bolton for a performance that was magnificently multicultural!

(It’s a lengthy video, but you don’t have to stay for it all. Though, I would definitely recommend sticking around for the beatboxer.)

“We really wanted to blend all of the cultures that our band represents.”

We are fortunate enough to experience a world of cultures through the magic of YouTube. When we share our traditions and find ways to collaboratively combine them we can change what’s possible for everybody!

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Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Want to explore more cultural gems?

Dive into our full Culture library to check out more of the unique expressions of cultural heritage that make our world so wonderful!

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Notes:

  1. “The Hindu Bagpipers of New Jersey.” YouTube, Great Big Story, 26 Sept. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpFtKCI2OQg. Accessed 10 Oct. 2018.
  2. “Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band Welcomes PM Modi at Wembley Stadium.” YouTube, Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, 16 Nov. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZvy_Z5LNkM. Accessed 10 Oct. 2018.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV