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“Over 1 billion people from all walks of life united in song”
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“Over 1 billion people from all walks of life united in song”

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics captured the imagination of the world. It emphasised togetherness and was a celebration of humanity, says Samantha Khan, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Trinidad & Tobago.

I just had the privilege of experiencing the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

The spirit of wonder and excitement travelled all 4422.76 miles to my living room in Trinidad.

And the volume of my television set probably travelled all the way back to London.

Danny Boyle is a visionary. He, along with all those who took part (and London itself), deserves praise of the highest kind.

There were so many standout, magnificent moments that if I tried to list them, I’d end up writing a detailed description of everything that happened. The feeling in Great Britain right now must be extraordinary.

As extraordinary as the flaming Olympic rings or the spectacular lighting of the torch. Or the 40 foot tall Lord Voldemort being vanquished by fifty incarnations of Mary Poppins.

There is, however, one moment in particular that I want to highlight. It’s the moment when all kinds of emotional bells started to ring. It’s the moment when Sir Paul McCartney got almost every single person watching the opening ceremony to sing Hey Jude.

The thought of over 1 billion people (as estimated by officials) from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life united in song is extraordinary. For about three minutes on July 27th 2012, roughly one seventh of the whole world was singing as one. Isn’t that amazing?

It reminds us of something we forget too easily. We are all human. We are bonded together in this unique experience of being human. Tonight we learnt that we have the ability jump the hurdles of language, culture, perceptions, convictions, harsh words and bitter wars and simply enjoy the present moment singing and dancing together. So why don’t we do it more often?

Why can’t we just leave the past in the past, accept our fundamental differences and move forward? Why can’t we shed pride and grudges, sit like rational beings and help make the Earth into that place we glimpsed for three minutes at the end of the opening ceremony?

Picture this: as many of the 7 billion people on Earth as possible gathered around television sets, radios and special viewing areas. They wait in anticipation, wondering whether the build-up and preceding outreach events are any indication of the spectacle that they are about to witness.

Everything has been under tight wraps. They know that some of their own local talent will be involved, though they don’t know who, which or what exactly. Everywhere is buzzing with excitement when the first light flickers on and the show begins.

For the next two to three hours, the world is treated to a production unlike any other. It features artistes from all over the globe and gives centre stage to the people of this planet and their stories. It emphasises unity and brotherhood. It is a celebration of humanity.

It’s a naïve vision and, written down, seems somewhat (very) silly. The logistics would be nightmarish and the process would likely take years. But it did happen, albeit on a much smaller scale than the one imagined. And human beings have always been extremely good at defying the odds and accomplishing the impossible.

Thus, this is not an idle suggestion. This is a challenge to the human race.

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About me:

“Hello! I’m a student from Trincity, Trinidad, and I love to write, read and sometimes draw. I would live in the cinema if I had the choice. I enjoy learning about as many different cultures as I possibly can.

“My dream is to become a novelist and through that, to challenge the stereotypes and constraints of society, as well as to provide thought-provoking material to shed new light on life itself. I believe that if we all shine a little light into the world, it will inevitably become a brighter place.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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