While scores of organizations are engaged in reducing carbon footprints and enhancing the sustainability of our biodiversity, one organization stands out particularly through emphasizing our behavioral changes. Functioning worldwide, Life Vest Inside (LVI), a non-profit organization, has voyaged since 2009 to promote kindness and encouragement among people through their diversified activities. As LVI believes, being kind to each other eventually help individuals to “recognize their potential, and build self-esteem”. Under this principle, LVI holds ‘Dance for Kindness’ (DFK), their signature public dance event, annually in the occasion of World Kindness Day which is observed globally on November 13. Consisting of a Flash Mob and a Freeze Mob, DFK aims at extending happiness and kindness among the onlookers.
Bangladesh, for the first time, has embraced this rare act of kindness on Novmber 8, 2015, at the Dinajpur Institute Ground, Dinajpur Sadar. All thanks to Daniel Mondal, a first year honors student hailing from Dinajpur, who unearthed the video Kindness Boomerang - "One Day" on YouTube and learnt about ‘Dance for Kindness’. While the majority countrymen keep downhearted, Daniel’s strong will and determination conquered. “What better way to shun the negativity and portray a positive image to the whole world,” he thought.
Although Daniel expressed his interest to LVI to take part in the event in his own locality, he had to endure an uncertainty for a length of 4 months. Luck happened when Orly Wahba, Founder/CEO of Life Vest Inside, responded and instructed him to organize the event in Bangladesh, only 20 days prior the event date.
Challenges followed in its natural course since Flash Mobs or Freeze Mobs are not any mainstream display activity in Bangladesh. Given an offbeat locality such as Dinajpur, arranging the spontaneous event in an ideal location and ensuring the support of local press as well as the inhabitants turned the prospect of DFK into ambiguity almost.
Photo: Daniel (bottom row, sitting second from left) with his team
Photo: The pre-event practice sessions of DFK Dinajpur
However, against all odds, Daniel collaborated with a local dance school and pulled together few performers. Words gradually spread and the crowd accumulated overnight. A special mention goes to Daniel’s father, Fabian Mondal, President, Dinajpur YMCA who introduced Daniel to Albinus Tudu, Secretary, Northern Indigenous Student Union (NISU), Dinajpur. With Tudu’s help, Daniel found a confirmed 30 performers for the DFK 2015.
The ground of Dinajpur Institute went happily vibrant with 80 performers adorned in bright orange t-shirts grabbing attention of hundreds. DFK 2015 comprised of a freeze mob of 3.5 minutes, where performers stood frozen, holding various positions of sharing kindness. This conveyed the vibe of reaching out, helping one to take a photo, exchanging smile with a stranger etc. to the audience. The crowd then unfroze over music and danced to the official DFK song, played collectively. The flash mob began with a child marching past the troupe holding a flag of Bangladesh with a sign reading “By living Kindly, Change is possible” on the back.
Though majority perceived the display as a random youngster performance, most of the viewers, especially parents of the participants, pulled out the embedded message of kindness with due appreciation. The event could have gained more mileage had it gathered much exposure, but the first appearance of DFK has left Daniel more confident and precise for the future ones to come.
Photo: The Freeze Mob starts with the performers expressing various gestures of Kindness
“I have not been able to reach out to most of my own friends because most of them are studying outside Dinajpur now. However, having informed them of this event has already helped me with some ground work for next time. Hopefully next time, we will be able to do this bigger and better”, said an optimistic Danile. “Even when I had registered as a group leader…they (LVI) expressed their amazement that someone from Bangladesh has reached out to be a part of this….It felt good to portray to them that…we are a progressive country,” he added.
To learn more about ‘Dance for Kindness’ and be a part of the kindness movement, you can keep your eyes on Life Vest Inside’s DFK page. To name a few, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Chile, Argentina, Florida, Canada etc. are en route embracing love and kindness for their fellow mates. Bangladesh joining the league only reinforces the praiseworthy effort of Daniels who believes and embraces that the good acts of kindness can actually make a difference to our society.
All the photos of the story have been provided by the organizers of DKF-Dinajpur team