‘Street’ Art of Animal Kingdom’s Harambe Village

The banging of drums sounds from one end of the village to the other. The thick, humid air smells of boerewors and curry. A few steps away stands the entrance to the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, where you just came within yards of lions, warthogs, and as many as thirty different types of wild animals. The signs on the walls, some in Swahili, seem to say “Welcome to East Africa.” 

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Village | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

“Welcome to East Africa”

But alas, you are 8,000 miles away in Orlando, Florida, in a park that welcomes approximately 30,000 guests each day to ‘Africa’, ‘Asia’, and the newly opened and imaginative, ‘Pandora’.

While Animal Kingdom typically rates below Magic Kingdom and Epcot in terms of popularity, it’s always been my personal favorite. Every inch of theming at the Walt Disney resort is perfection, but there is something about the authenticity of Animal Kingdom that is absolutely capitvating.

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Village | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

After year’s of visiting, I finally took a stroll through the Harambe Village, while for the first time, realizing just how much street art and proverbial knowledge there is to find on the way.

  1. “You Are Most Beautiful”

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Village | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

This wall is pretty difficult to find, and used to be the type of spot you happen to stumble upon. However, it’s recently blown up as an Instagram sensation. What you can’t tell by the image is that if you look right, there is a walkway to a behind-the-scene cast member area. Due to the location, it’s the first thing Disney cast members see on their way in and on their way out; and if that doesn’t automatically set you off on the right foot for your work shift, nothing will.

But something about this wall is very sweet and innocent, and despite it’s simplicity, is one of my favorite walls in Harambe Village.

2. “It does not matter who you are or where you are from, we are all children of the world.”

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Market | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

To me, this quote has so much meaning behind it. It’s also something I wish more people were able to grasp. It’s pretty self explanatory, but I’m sure we all believe (at least those reading this) that regardless of what continent you’re born on, what language you speak, or where you happen to fall on the economic spectrum, we are all children of the world; and the world does not owe you more than it owes anybody else.

3. “To get lost is to learn the way.”

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Market | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

Of all the quotes that bring out my inner wanderer, and there are many, this one really tugs on my travel heart strings. I have always said that I have “reverse-homesickness”. For some reason, I’ve always felt more at home when I’m as far away from home as possible. Yes, because traveling is a passion of mine, but also because life seems to sort itself out, things start to put themselves into perspective, and problems don’t seem as large whenever you take a step back.

There are times when you need to step off of your planned trail in order to find your way, whether it be by traveling, by changing your career, by switching your major, or just making a small change. Sometimes you have to get lost before you figure out in which direction you have to go.

4. “A person who is in too much of a hurry stubs his toe.”

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Market | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

When I first read this Swahili proverb, it instantly reminded me of the old “slow and steady wins the race” lesson. But once I had some time to think about it, it seemed more about being present. Often we are in such a hurry, or spend so much time focusing on where we want to be, that we miss what’s right in front of us.

Similarly, if you’re walking too fast and not paying attention to what is going on around you, you could stub your toe. And we all know that definitely falls high on the list of worst physical feelings.

5. “Kila mango ha unfunguwo wake.”

'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Market | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

‘Kila mango ha ufunguwo wake’ when translated, means “every door has it’s own key.” I’m sure this could mean a million different things to a million different people, but I personally feel it’s referring to people as individuals.

Each person is unique, therefore each person learns/lives/thinks in a unique way. Similarly, it takes different methods/actions/strategies to make each person open up or to help each person reach their maximum potential.

 

 

I’m sure some of these proverbs and sayings could mean different things to each person, and I’d love to read your interpretations in the comments!

 

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'Street' Art of Animal Kingdom's Harambe Village | www.agreatbighunkofworld.com

 

 

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