Have you met these Cultural Icons?

There are people throughout time who have managed to eclipse the ordinary, inspiring hundreds, thousands sometimes even millions of devout disciples. He/She has often done this through shifting cultural paradigms, and creatively changing the way we imagine the world. I asked Summathi, Elvis & Honore to name the Cultural Icon who most inspires......

Sumathi Shanmugam, India

Swami Vivekenanda

He is considered a key figure in the introduction of Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the "Western" World, mainly in America and Europe and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the end of the 19th century C.E. Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India. He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America", through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.

Elvis Alves, Poet, Guyana/United States

Bob Marley
Painting by Basil Clayton 

My cultural icon is bob marley because he was a very talented musician and humanitarian. Bob Marley was able to put into words the plight of the oppressed and in so doing gave voice to many people not only in his homeland of Jamaica but also in Africa, the rest of the Caribbean, and worldwide.

Honore Van Ommeren, Dance Instructor & Choreographer, Suriname

Jiri Kylian

Jiri Kylian is the former Artistic Director of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) 1975-1999. His thought process is a puzzle and his versatility inspiring. Everyone should get to know his work.

I can tell you that i'm learning more and more from this process. I am definitely have some homework to do.....

If you want to share your Cultural Icon with us feel free to add to the discussion....


  1. Marcus Garvey is a post slavery voice that resonates with me. He shrugged off I cant for I can. He challenged the status quo and made a difference. He is the original I Can man.

  2. In recent times Rex Nettleford stands out. He used education and the educational system
    to bring acceptance and cultural change. Many now accept Kumina, Dinky Minny, and bruckings as legitimate dance movements. He stepped us into a future, by his perseverance, his passion and his academic achievements.


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