today, i participated in a kirtan. i've joined spiritually-uplifting christian kirtans before and also multi-religious ones, but today's kirtan is a hindu one.
kirtan comes from the sanskrit work for "praise." kirtan involves chanting hymns to the accompaniment of instruments. participants are usually divided into groups and are assigned parts of the hymn, and so the groups take turns in chanting their parts.
for christians, it is very similar to the "round songs" sung in sunday school. remember "this little light of mine, i'm gonna let it shine," or "jesus loves me?" other more common round songs would be those sung in pre-school: "brother john," or "row, row, row your boat."
my professional growth as a shrink entails me to experience the practices of different cultures and traditions. this is one way for me to have a more broadened perspective of the people i meet, appreciating our differences and more importantly, celebrating our similarities. in a multicultural world like ours, we should all aim for "unity in diversity."