Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is Here!


Summer is officially here. Yesterday was a day of celebration in our community;- summer solstice, Fathers' Day, National Aboriginal Day and the city's annual Multicultural Festival. The temperature outside reached 80F (27C) for the first time this year and high humidity made it seem even warmer. Canadians consider this hot weather but many of the people at the festival have come from countries where 80F would be considered a cool day. We visited the various booths set up in a large, sunny field and joined a long lineup for a drink of icy cold, fresh lemonade.


These ladies, originally from Turkey, had an efficient assembly line going as they filled large cups with ice, syrup, freshly squeezed lemon and fresh berries. We sat in the shade and sipped our drinks as we watched the festivities around us. It seemed like representatives from the entire globe had dropped in for the party as people in colourful ethnic dress moved in the crowds.


This lovely young woman from Kenya was a story teller and shared some of the oral traditions of her culture. Tales of children and elders, life and death, animals and nature were narrated in a musical tone and rhythm that is so African. This section of the festival was called "Latitudes" and stories from many countries were shared with young and old alike under the trees. Story telling is no longer significant in our culture but it was very popular with the audience who applauded the participants warmly.

After a rest it was time to go back into the sun and check out the good food that was being served.


Greek gyros made a perfect hand held meal and for a couple dollars more, you could get a container of delicious Loukoumades, Greek honey dumplings for dessert. These are the Greek answer to Timbits and they were warm and delicious. If you wanted something even sweeter, you could try various types of baklava or some hand churned ice cream.

Summer is the season for parks and festivals and outdoor fun, not a season to be locked in air conditioned rooms. Of course I say that from a Canadian perspective where hot weather isn't all that hot and unpleasant.

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24 comments:

  1. I love these kinds of fesivals. We have something here called Taste of the Nations. Lots of fun.

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  2. These are the kinds of festivals that I love, both for my own enjoyment and to expose Damian to other cultures without traveling far.

    Now I am craving baklava though... :-D

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  3. What a great festival. We miss the wonderful ethnic festivals they have in Milwaukee, WI. Such fun to taste a little of their food and hear about different cultures.

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  4. And so the summer festival begin. am always amazed at all the food available at these events.Sounds like this one was no exception.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  5. Thanks for sharing Ruth, that drink in the first pic looks fantastic.

    Have a great week
    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

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  6. That was a lovely series of photos of the festival..I like the food at these events...My World is always an adventure to see all the different places.

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  7. The lemonade looks very tasty, and I love gyros and baklava.
    It's really too bad storytelling is falling to the wayside. I try to practice storytelling in some of programs and it's always well received. Looks like a great day. Nice captures.

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  8. I miss the summer season in Canada, but that memory fades when your winter arrives.
    We escaped to Oman this past weekend to appreciate the cooler weather (34-39C). We are back home to +45C weather.
    Enjoy your summer fun!

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  9. Sunday was full of wonderful things. Thanks for sharing these images. That looks like quite a wonderful festival.

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  10. This looks a wonderful idea. If only we had anything as diverse here.

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  11. A wonderful festival indeed, I am sure everyone went home happy and replete. A really great day out and so kind of you to give us a share.

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  12. How fun! That drink looks so very refreshing and yummy.

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  13. Ohhhh I could use that drink right about now. It looks so refreshing.

    I always hear about this festival after it's over. I must remember for next year. I have never been and would like to check it out.

    One of fondest memories in school was story telling by the teacher. You are right this is no longer practiced...what a shame!

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  14. What a great way to bring in summer.
    I too consider 80 degrees F plus humidity hot. I am a winter person for sure.

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  15. I guess blogging and books tell our stories now, but there is something about the oral tradition.

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  16. We took in a street market last week - so much fun. Happy summer, Ruth.

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  17. I love when we take the time to get into other cultures, and this is a great way! Love the summer picture in the intro. Those berries say it all!

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  18. That looks like a wonderful way to celebrate all those occasions. I'm definitely still adjusting to the heat/humidity here after living so long in Alberta, where, I should add, I never owned a pair of shorts!

    (p.s. thank you so much for your kind words about my website!!)

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  19. Hi Ruth....that looks so inviting, it really does. I love festivals like this. I would have loved the story telling......it is wonderful to hear how others have lived......and to learn about their culture......

    I love baklava......

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  20. Hi Ruth, it looks like it was a wonderful event - thanks for the tour! The drink looks awesome.

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  21. oh my! would love to be in the festival and explore around. Looks like there are alot of things to see and do.

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  22. Your posts are always interesting. What a wonderful way to celebrate ... looks and sounds like a great festival. I'd love to have listened to that gal from Kenya tell her stories.

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  23. That looks like so much fun ...so vibrant..

    We have a few festivals , here, that celebrate a single culture, like the Italian Festival, The Basque Festival, etc ... I think it is so much fun when they all combine like yours ... it's like taking a trip around the world, without leaving home :-)

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  24. Looks great! I have been picking and eating strawberries for the last two weeks-yumm!

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