Friday, September 22, 2006

Trying to be politically correct

First of all let me apologise profusely for the diabolical standard of these photos - our scanner has never taken to life in Somerset (well either that or no-one's had sufficient time or inclination to persuade it to talk to the computer in its new home)

So these are photographs of photographs - hence the reflection of the flash and lack of clarity

Finn was talking the other day about a little quilt she made with 'Southern Mammies' on it and how politically incorrect that might be perceived to be in these times. It put me in mind of a Welcome Banner I made for our old church in Gloucester. The photo is the only record I have of it now.

The church had links with a church and school in Calcutta, India (think that it's now known as Kolcatta but don't quote me on that)

We were to receive a visit from the minister of this church at an All Age Worship family service and our minister asked at the planning meeting if someone could make a banner with the word 'welcome' in various different languages.

I think he probably expected something drawn out in marker pens on a length of lining paper.

I volunteered and made the quilted hanging you can get the gist of in the pictures

I had the idea to make a group of multi-cultural children with various speech bubbles around them each with the word in a different language.

The only pre-requisite was that there should be space left for our visitor to write the word in his native language of Bengali - so I duly left him a bubble and a marker pen to write in it

The children include little versions of my own at that age - Sarah is second from left on the front row with her mid brown bob, Nick is the ginger haired boy in the middle row and Lou is the little blonde at the back.

The other children depict various races, the very dark skinned Indian girl has a sequin for her bindi on her forehead. All the children have exactly the same black buttons for eyes and big white semi-circle toothpaste ad type smiles.

When I took it round to The Manse to hand it over the Minister was in the middle of a meeting and so hurriedly took the rolled up hanging that I'd ceremoniously wrapped in black bin liners and thanked me in a distracted fashion to dash back to his meeting

He phoned me an hour or so later lost for words as it was a total surprise and 'far exceeded his expectations' (his words not mine)

I wish I'd thought to go back and take a better digital picture of it before I left but hindsight is always 20/20 vision


Shelina said...

Seems to me like you did a good job being politially correct incorporating lots of different cultures.

Lily said...

Wow Anne - you certainly made an impression there. So what did he write in Bengali?