ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — ¡Globalquerque! ‘goes beyond state’s borders’
It was difficult at times, growing up a descendant of African Americans, Native Americans and Europeans, as singer/songwriter Martha Redbone did.
But even as a grown woman, Redbone said she still deals with others wanting to place her identity in a box.
“We are all addicted to phenotypes,” she said at a performance at Saturday afternoon’s ¡Globalquerque! festivities at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. “How can you ask a child to choose one culture and deny another?”
But at ¡Globalquerque!, it was all about celebrating one’s culture – and embracing the cultures of others.
Patsy Gregory, Bill Croft and Carol Toffaleti are not of Balkan descent.
And yet, the three could be found leading a Balkan dance workshop in full regalia Saturday afternoon at the event.
The style is typically done in lines or circles, Gregory explained, without partners and to irregular rhythms.
“This is important because we have such diverse cultures within New Mexico, that’s partly what ¡Globalquerque! showcases, but it also showcases that diversity goes beyond New Mexico’s borders,” Croft said.
In addition to dance workshops and live music throughout the day at Saturday’s free “Global Fiesta,” there were craft stations, foreign food vendors, panels and films.
A group with the Refugee Wellbeing Project offered traditional Afghan sweets and tea along with henna.
Near the entrance, a rather pleasant cacophony streamed through the air from tables strewn with a sort of musical instrument menagerie.
In the evening, musical acts from South Korea, Cuba and Ireland took the stages.
Greta Cederstrom and her family have been coming to the event from the Belen area for years.
“It’s so easy to be divisive and find reasons to fight. Music brings us together,” Cederstrom said. “And it’s a lot of fun!”