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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