Guests : Pr Ismael Maiga & Issa Dicko
As part of the 5th edition of the African Festival of Art Virtual Images (FAIVA) was held on November 6 2015, a Tea ceremony followed by discussions.
Why a tea ceremony?
Green tea, a tradition in northern Mali, passed to the South came through consolidation and popular mobilization among the youth.
The tea ceremony has given a new direction: the Grin has become a place of reunion and discussions for young people of all ages and sexes, from all segments of Malian society. A kind of palaver tree and a support area that was the pride of Malians.
The ceremony named three normal or three glasses offers, during a certain amount of time, a good opportunity to create a true space for sharing and communion between people. During these Grin’s Tea, all matters related to society, especially the youth, were freely discussed without moderator or speaker. It was a space where every generation issues are discussed in order to find solutions.
The Tea ceremony hasn’t been well exploited as a space for education, awareness and awakening especially in the youth. It even tends to disappear.
Therefore, Sun Africa through the African Festival of Arts Virtual Images (FAIVA) kept this traditional gathering to create a space for intercultural dialogue around the current difficulties faced by the country.
After the crisis that threatened the existence of Mali, the country still lives in fear and in total insecurity due to the rise of religious fundamentalism accompanied by processions attacks. Beside keeping account of the disastrous crisis that shook the entire population, the people need to understand what happened in order to atone for the establishment of a lasting peace.
Mali is a culturally diverse country even if today we see that this diversity was probably not well managed as a whole. It consists of various people: Bamanan, Dogon, Fulani, Bozo Kel Tamashek, Moors, Songhai, Senufo, Malinke, Minianka, Tuareg, Soninke, Bwa, Samogo, Dafing, Saracollé, bobo and other …
Most of these people from North and South Mali know very little about each other. The creation of spaces of dialogue and exchange among them is needed for a better understanding of the social issues in order to provide adequate solutions.
Organised for the first time during the FAIVA Festival, this edition of the Tea ceremony was the occasion to explore the origin of each cultural group but also to share traditional values. It was also an opportunity to analyze and debate on the Mali crisis.
The Tea ceremony allowed us to share in a very unformal way on different social concerns. Held in public space without limitation of audience, they constitute an important lobby for peace, tolerance and reconciliation. We hope through our future activities to improve and expand the ceremony in different parts of Mali. It will help us to develop the understanding of contemporary visual arts among the society by introducing and educating the local public to it.