Southern Star Arts & Culture Exchange
Organized by: J Wahl
In the southern tip of the coastal Indian state of Tamil Nadu lives a man by the name of Southern Star. Born to a small and deeply impoverished shrimp-fishing community, Southern Star has worked and championed the best of all he had growing up to create a life that leaves all around him full of hope and good spirits. This is a community with slum-like homes with no roofs... a community that fishes for the world but does not often eat enough themselves... a communtiy built up with western tourism still while many are pushed down on hard times. The Tsunami and heavy rain season of Tamil Nadu is kicking up another storm. As with the disastrous Tsunami of 2004, the children need roofs and they need comfort. Southern Star is working to assist and needs your help to get the families of mothers and daughters and fathers and sons these basic human needs... Southern Star is an artist, a religious leader, an unbelievably caring friend... he's also an advanced graduate and scholar of literature and philosophy, Mr. Southern has a passion for life and joyful spirit which creates happiness and champions good wherever he sets foot. The story of this man's life is one for the ages, yet he doesn't ever seem eager to tell it. Instead, Southern lives working year after year to better the lives of others, and he has much so much more to share if he can have your support in building a bridge of opportunity from a place in the world which does not have the resource to explore and share it's own gifts nearly enough. The people of Tamil Nadu are extraordinarily arts-minded. They live by the ocean where at times Southern will be shaping relics and symbols from palm wood and other staples of the seaside environment. The attention to detail in his craft and the strength of character which he so often shares is one of the most beautiful displays of human kindness one can know. Here is a man who stays and reads to orphaned children as they have their last day in this life...all because medicine was not available to save their lives soon enough. Here is a man who sits with families and thanks them for ever ounce of joy he has had while showing such beautiful art and leadership within their community... Here is a man intent on making his way across the ocean to bring back hope to those children who would not otherwise have it. Here is a friend, a brother, a teacher and the most beautiful and self-sacrificing man one could know... he just wants to share what he has known... he wants to help others have less pain and suffering... and he wants to do this by teaching and sharing his art. With the help of family, friends and several communities in different countries across the globe, Southern is currently cultivating an educational program which helps kids to make and sell art as a means of cultural exchange. At present Mr. Star is working with a skill-intensive technique called paper quilling where he wraps and folds colored parchment into ornate designs. Southern has demonstrated mastery of this art and is seeking to share not only his art with the world, but the art of children who could not otherwise be aware of their own value and artistic gifts. If you can find the time to share your own gift to this unifying and heartening cause, not only will Southern see the beauty of his work unfold farther and faster than if not... but children in the same communities hit hardest by Tsunami's every year since before the disaster of 2004 will know that they are not helpless. These children will learn their own humanity and strength of resolve... they will learn this and be proud of their work... if you can help Southern Star give his gifts just a little bit more this holiday season, the children of the small fishing town of Tamil Nadu might know their own strength and purpose a little more. Southern Star has consistently lead by example a life of beauty and dedication to others. Any efforts to this cause do VERY truly make the difference in the happiness and joy of a life that can be very tough. Today as December begins, a new storm rolls in across the ocean... and many children and their parents don't have roofs or beds or proper food to keep them sustained. Will you take a moment today and help them? Any assistance you can give will help a child and their families to be taken care of, but also to know his or her very own goodness and strength through the purpose of creating and sharing art Southern Star is so freely teaching.