These past couple of weeks have been exhausting, exciting, frustrating, and wonderful. It was exhausting hopping from one pavilion to the next (up to 5 per night), but exciting to see the different costumes and beautifully decorated venues. Frustration kicked in when I couldn’t have access to a vehicle or companion, also when I got lost driving. I’ve explored parts of Winnipeg that I’ve never been to, despite the fact that I’ve been living here for 19 years. I also learned that Winnipeg needs more visible street signs! Tthe food was wonderful and the people were so kind to us. It was like everyone was letting me into their home. Although some pavilions were more exciting, you have to understand that each culture has their own sort of, “style”; whether it is upbeat and loud or simple and less dynamic. What I loved most was seeing traditional meets contemporary/modern. I looked for variety, and I favoured pavilions that really showcased the talents of their performers and of their culture. I’ve learned so much through Folklorama; from geographical points, to landmarks, to etiquette, to fashion and even to sports.
What never ceased to amaze me was how much energy and effort the coordinators, volunteers, ambassadors, and performers put into each and every show. They made me so proud to be a part of this, to be from Winnipeg — a place where diversity is embraced. I was able to meet many different people, from all over the world. Folklorama brings together all cultures and it truly is a celebration of traditions (old and new). And although this year’s Folklorama has come to an end, I won’t ever forget the feeling of being a part of a community that not only embraces but celebrates the cultural mosaic that makes up Canada.
Here are my TOP THREE’s:
Overall: 1. Celtic Ireland; 2. Paraguay and 3. Serbian
Food: 1. Caribbean; 2. Greek and 3. Celtic Ireland
Performances: 1. Spirit of Ukraine; 2. Mexican and 3. Ethiopia