In the News
Obama: A Worldly Spirit
Inaugural celebrations around the globe
With concerts, balls, and celebrations abound in America, I lost sight of all that’s going on in the rest of the world! Obama’s values have inspired hope into diverse cultures everywhere.
The people of Kenya, the birthplace of Obama’s father, sang, danced, and had celebratory feasts for “Our Son”, as they call him. There were even movie screens for a communal Inauguration viewing.
In a nearby city, Kisumu, Christine Aoko named her newborn daughter Michelle, hoping she would be as strong as Michelle Obama.
Students in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama spent four years of his youth, wore brightly colored, traditional costumes to represent the tropical islands. Obama’s classmates gathered at their former elementary school to watch good ol’ “Barry” become President Barack Obama.
The people of Moneygall, an Irish village, covered the village with red, white, and blue cloth and baked special fruit cakes, called “Bracks”, with Obama’s picture on the wrapping.
Faith leaders from Peru, Brazil, Mexico, and Bolivia came to Lima, Peru, to engage in a ritual known as “Big Heart” to celebrate Obama’s big heart for the world. They danced around with rattles, blew smoke, and chanted Obama’s name while tossing flower petals and coca leaves onto his picture.
Dozens of work sites in Guyana, South America allowed their employees to leave at noon to go watch the Inauguration. Sugarcane-cutting descendants of African slaves in Puerto Tejada, Colombia were given the day off so they could watch the Inauguration.
African-American singer Cyndee Peters hosted a “A Gala for Obama” in Sweden with soul, jazz, hip-hop, gospel, folk and blues artists.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer revealed that Antigua’s highest point, Boggy Peak, will be renamed Mount Obama for Obama’s 48th birthday.
Our troops in Base Kalsu, near Baghdad, celebrated in the dining hall. Sergeant Burton even cried as Obama was inaugurated.
U.S. citizens and locals alike are celebrating in countries from England to France to South Korea. People gathered everywhere from upscale hotels and black tie balls to sports bars and community halls. London’s Madame Tussead’s Wax Museum had free admission for everyone to see the Obama wax figure. Villages chanted his name. The people of Japan even partied in the city of Obama.
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, wrote this to Obama on Inauguration Day:
“Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.”
Above photo: A woman celebrates in Tottenham, London. Source