Focus on health traditions at TMY Festival builds on ancient knowledge, explores also contemporary and local wellness movement
Buddhist meditation techniques that date back several thousand years, the stylized martial arts known as “capoeira” that African slaves improvised in Brazil more than 500 years ago, and the Water Ritual that Jewish communities around the world perform to welcome the harvest season: these ethnic and folk practices will be among the dozens of traditional health and wellness events, lectures, demonstrations, displays, and workshops featured at this year’s Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival, October 14-16, 2011, spread over 60 acres in downtown Tucson.
Traditions of Health and Wellness is one of three major themes highlighted by the 38-year old festival in its 2011 edition (other themes are “Sonoran Pavilion” and “Passport to the World”).
But alongside healing and spiritual traditions rooted in ancient knowledge, visitors to the festival will also find displays and activities exploring many expressions of the contemporary health and wellness movement, such as the recently popular dance-exercise known as Zumba, a Trekking Path encouraging exploration and activity, and lectures on celiac disease and gluten-free diets. In recognition of Tucson’s own locally crafted and thriving “wellness community” associated to spas and resorts where people seek relaxation, rehabilitation, and other forms of healing, a Health Expo section within the festival will include, among several exhibitors, a kiosk by Dr. Andrew Weil’s inspired Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, educational internet safety tips for kids of all ages and mental health tips will be shared by La Frontera Arizona, offerings in massage training and other health-support careers by Carrington College, and organic, handmade wellness products by several local vendors.
“Although at first glance, contemporary and alternative health practices may seem divergent from tradition, “said Dr. Maribel Alvarez, UA Professor of Folklore who is also the Chair of the TMY Board of Directors, “it is important to understand the diversity of ways by which people, in forming their own communities of shared interests, pay attention to the balance between body and mind. It is a very Tucson and Arizona thing to do, and as a folklife festival we are interested in documenting and presenting the living practices of many different kinds of folks.”
Festival dates and times: October 14th 11am-10pm, October 15th 10am-10pm, and October 16th 11am-6pm. 2011 expected attendance is 120,000+.
Traditions of Health and Wellness major support provided by HealthyPima.org and La Frontera Arizona.