Tower of Babel in the Leipziger Thomaskirche

Every Saturday afternoon, the inhabitants of Leipzig and the tourists who are interested in the music of Bach, can go to the Thomaskirche where the 18th century composer used to be a Cantor, and listen to the boys choir sing his music. Amidst Cantatas and Motette, there is a brief sermon delivered by a priest, a hymn sung by the congregation and a prayer. The whole lasts about an hour and to those who love classical music, even if they are not great believers, it is a godsend.
Today the priest, a woman, spoke in her sermon, about the refugees coming to Europe, and how we all have to leave our comfort zone in order to reach out and help these people from war zones or other countries where extreme poverty reigns. Suddenly a big group came in the church and rather noisily took their seats. They were a mixed group of young people from India or Pakistan or Sri Lanka, from the US, from Mexico, from the Far East etc. They probably belonged to the same college or company, and had come to listen to the music of Bach out of curiosity or because some travel guide had suggested it. One of them was extremely loud and played with his cell phone, spoke to the others, didn’t seem to realize he was in a church. He must have been extremely bored, he received phone calls in the middle of the sermon and when somebody sitting nearby asked him to be quiet, he decided to go out.
I asked myself how would I react if I were a 25-year old and found myself in some Buddhist temple or in a Mosque in Asia? Would I be nervous and listless and fidgety? And now, how was I really feeling? Was I annoyed because the young man next to me didn’t comply to the rules? Did I put myself in his place? Was I tolerant, was I a racist? I was surely influenced by the priest’s sermon and was trying to find an answer.
Once again I caught myself pondering on the meaning of globalisation. Since I was a child, I was extremely interested in other cultures. I liked to know how other people lived, how was their everyday life, their habits, their beliefs. Yes, globalization is something that I find extremely interesting. The questions flood my brain. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Can anyone escape it? Does it mean the end of regional traditions, the end of some languages? It is a reality for sure. There are those who think that Europe is a victim of its open frontiers and there are others who think that the European borders are not open enough. Some fear a clash of religions, others look forwards to a fusion of religions, to a broader understanding between the people of this earth.
What are your thoughts dear reader?

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