Lantern FestivalMay 15, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F
Every summer in Philadelphia they have a lantern festival. Although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting it was a very entertaining evening.
“What did you learn on the field experiences that helped you understand Philadelphia better?”
I was not looking forward to the Art Museum the way I had anticipated the American Revolution Museum and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. I have always loved history and studying the past in order to understand the present. I didn’t think the Art Museum would be interesting at all. In fact, early on a lot of what the museum staff said during explanations of paintings did not hold my attention. I just really wanted to know more about Philadelphia.
There were a few key points that I knew about Philadelphia prior to the trip. These included the basic information such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the site of the Liberty bell, and the fact that the city is called ‘The City of Brotherly Love.’ Once I worked and explored within the city, I realized the City of Brotherly Love began through great vision of its founders and became the strength of the city as following leaders continued to build on the vision of William Penn.
Even though William Penn had a vision of religious tolerance and of a town that was not regulated by the urban chaos of London, he did not spend all of his time in Philadelphia and therefore, issues like violence and dissent arose. Penn needed the help of other leaders to aid in discipline yet follow his vision. Today Philadelphia stands strong as a city of tolerance. This was evident in our mural walk and sights we observed down town.
The Art museum was a great symbolic reminder of this foundation and history of Philadelphia. Inside we viewed artwork depicting ships in battle and important events in history. I saw pieces that were direct expressions of what the artists saw or felt at the time. We also viewed artwork by Van Gogh which depicted his passion and pain. The piece, “Rain” was my favorite and it was sad to know that it was the view from his window in the asylum. It made me reflect on how people who are different often suffer in society, which is what Penn desired to erase by building a city based on freedom and tolerance. Then, stepping outside the doors of the museum we were hit with the modern architecture mixed with the old as well as the modern art of the city, including the Rocky statue. The statue is representative of a character who fought against the odds and stayed true to his character. This showed me that Philadelphia is a depiction of past and present connected through a shared vision. When times changed, Philadelphia and its leaders changed with them, yet they maintained the roots of tolerance that the City of Brotherly love was founded on. I may not have enjoyed the art museum as much as the museums that offered historical documents, but it did help me understand Philadelphia a little better.Read more
Question 2: “What about being in Philadelphia is a new experience for you”?
American history, especially Colonial America, was one of my favorite subjects studied in high school. Philadelphia was a major part of that study. I had viewed various photos and drawings of Christ Church and had heard a lot about its rich history. So, I was excited to attend a church service there while in Philadelphia. As we reached the church that Sunday morning I was amazed at how the building seemed unchanged. The historic steeple commanded attention, just as it had in the photos and drawing. Having grown up in the Methodist church, I was accustomed to the “method” of the church. I was expecting a very traditional service rooted in ceremony.
What I experienced at Christ Church was something I had never experienced before. The sanctuary was as I imagined with high ceilings and pillars. That is where my expectations stopped. The minister was female; some speculated homosexual. She spoke passionately about people. She argued that all lives matter and discussed how politics does and does not fit into that belief. I have never experienced such a contemporary and edgy church service. I loved the intensity, sincerity and relativity of what all she had to say. Sitting in such an historic pew I was blown away by the liberal approach to the service.Read more