Northeast Underground

Get up and dance to the music this V-Day with One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising (English logo) If your name wasn’t Nemo or Mumford & Sons and you live in the northeast, odds are you didn’t have the greatest weekend.

Unlike the historic winter storm that seemed to relish the opportunity to bury most of New England in snow or the English folk rock band that walked away from last night’s Grammys with wins for Album of the Year and Best Long Form Music Video, there certainly wasn’t a lot to cheer about in Western Massachusetts as most residents spent this past Friday through Sunday shoveling out their driveways or waiting for the power in their homes to be turned back on. Though on the plus side, those without power didn’t get to witness Justin Bieber’s wooden performance during his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live. But I digress.

Now as life in the Pioneer Valley starts to revert back to normal, citizens can start looking forward to perhaps February’s biggest holiday. But I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about V-Day.

Sharing the same date as its more Cupid and chocolate associated cousin, V-Day (the V stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina) is “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls” inspired by playwright Eve Ensler’s 1996 work The Vagina Monologues. And to celebrate V-Day’s 15th anniversary, the movement is inviting one billion women (and those who love them) worldwide to “Walk Out, Dance, Rise Up, and Demand” and end to violence against females.

The campaign is called One Billion Rising, and a variety of local organizations are doing their part by holding Rising-orientated events on February 14. One such event is a flash mob that will hit the streets of downtown Northampton performing the signature dance of the One Billion Rising movement “Break the Chain,” which is set to a song of the same name.

Watch the official video for the “Break the Chain” song and dance here:

Even if you don’t want to put on your dancing shoes, there are many other ways to participate – the One Billion Rising website encourages those interested to “produce a theatrical event, march in your streets, protest, strike” – but most important of all is standing up and letting your voice be heard.

Sure it may not involve a dozen roses, expensive jewelry or fancy dinners, but I can’t think of a better way to show a loved one that you care.

To learn more about One Billion Rising and V-Day and to check for events in your area please visit http://onebillionrising.org/ and http://www.vday.org/home.

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© 2014 The Valley Advocate