Every New Year, the community hosts a meeting in a different European city. There is a prayer service three times a day, workshops and the opportunity to meet other young people from around the world. It was an amazing experience especially on New Year's Eve when I was a part of a group of about 100 young people who sang, danced and chatted our way into 2011, booze-free.
Here are my photos taken on my iPhone...
The slideshow includes:
- The inside and outside of Ahoy, the gig venue for the huge meeting.
- A visit to a Mosque in Rotterdam which allowed people of both faiths to learn about one-another.
- Some of the sights in Rotterdam including unusual architecture and a photo which demonstrates the love the Dutch have for bikes - they grit the cycle lanes but not the pavements!
- My favourite Dutch food, the flavoured custards called Vla.
- Fireworks that were going off on the street in Rotterdam on New Year's Eve which were bigger and louder than any I've seen before.
- Photos of me and my cousin Peter, plus friends I made out there.
- And New Year's Day in Amsterdam before flying home.
This video gives you a glimpse of what it was like during one of the prayer services that took place three times a day...
And undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of Taizé, silence...
The songs are meditative and repetitive and put you in the mood for prayer. This is a new song and one that I really love...
If you're interested in reading more about Taizé I'd recommend reading the Letter From Chile.