Cultivating interpersonal multiculturalism at Mac: Studio Ponsandous, a WMCN radio show

feet in the air, qraqeb between the legs, takes flight Gnawi. gnawa is Moroccan spiritual music performed by Gnawis who come from soldiers and war captives of the Songhai Empire following the Moroccan conquest in the 16th century.

During the lilaca nocturnal spiritual ceremony that lasts until dawn, the Gnawa maalems (master musicians) come together in a circle of dancers and singers aiming to connect with the spirits of their ancestors through the music they perform.

Under a bright full moon, seven colors are carried, seven spirits are evoked, and seven scents of incense dance through the air. It is widely believed that gnawa is believed to spiritually purify those who could not be cured by a physician.

Just like the lilac, “Studio Ponsandous” connects minds around the world to share music, stories and love. But “ponsandous” is not a real word. In Haitian Creole, the word “pon” means bridge and “san dous” means sweet smell. Although not frequently used together, ponsandous means “bridge of sweet smells”, an image that captures the simple beauty of hearing about a friend’s unique culture.

The melodies, the spirituality and the human gathering that the lilac The offerings are reflected in the mission of Macalester College’s radio show “Studio Ponsandous” to give multiculturalism in Macalester, and as a whole, a new interpersonal emphasis.

Born from deep reflection in the parking lot of the Dunn Brothers, “Studio Ponsandous” carves our way through diverse cultures, metabolizing the sweet smells of music and experiences that unite and differentiate our genre.

Each week, in the first hour of the show, a new guest presents their own playlist of childhood songs that remind them of their youth at home, cultural songs that recall their ancestral heritage, or any music with value. personal. During the second hour, the guest shares stories that they believe speak to their upbringing and culture.

Deliberately inspired by oral history, “Studio Ponsandous” presents itself as a new platform for embracing multiculturalism in an interpersonal way. Instead of focusing on the coup d’etat in Mali or state disinformation on the pandemic in Brazil, “Studio Ponsandous” draws our gaze to the blues of the Tuareg desert or the carioca funk of the favelas.

Very often on American college campuses like Macalester, dialogue about internationalism is confined to the classroom, the auditorium, or social media. Our only hope in this project is to pull multiculturalism out of the sheath of formality and subsequent remoteness in which it currently resides.

We want to highlight the importance of the stories normal people around the world have lived, and we don’t know of a better way to do that than to share music and stories that are organically discussed among friends.

So, every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. CST, we invite you to walk with us along the Sweet Smells of the World Bridge. Listen live on 91.7 FM or

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