Saturday, August 11, 2007

Folklorama 2007 - Argentina

First an intro on Folklorama. It's an annual event in Winnipeg where several pavilions representing different countries are scattered around the city. In these pavilions, they have cultural performances, booths and sell native food, drinks and other products.

Last night, I went to my first Folklorama pavilion - the Argentina "Tango" Pavilion We were supposed to go to the kick-off but my back interfered with our plans. The site was just a 20 minute walk from the office. There was a bit of a drizzle though. When I got there it was getting close to capacity with over an hour before the show. We'd probably have to settle for the 8:15 show since Mean was still several minutes away. It was fine though since we were told we could enter the pavilion and try out the food and check out the booths while waiting. They had a tent where people could eat and wait. They had a guy with a guitar and a singer singing Argentinian tunes to keep us entertained too. The food was ok. It was actually quite like what we have in the Philippines. They had emapanadas which aren't as sweet as ours. And their version of our leche flan. It looks exactly the same but tastes a bit different. It has a more of a gelo feel to it.

The time for the show finally came. The first performance was a dance number by (probably) Argentinian kids. There was a traditional dance by a pair complete with costume. Then a song number by a local duo. They then had a lengthy Tango performance by a pair they flew in straight from Argentina. The guy even played an accordion (or accordion-like instrument). Since this was the Tango pavilion, I thought that was the finale, but it wasn't. It was another traditional dance performed by the other pair that performed earlier. They started off dancing while playing the drums, sometimes one of them just drumming and the other dancing. But the most impressive part of it was when they started using these rope like instruments with hard ends. They swing the rope around occasionally letting it strike the ground. Sort of like a drum. It's hard to describe but it was impressive as he sped up while keeping his rhythm. It's a pity I forgot my camera. Had to settle with my phone's camera. Unfortunately, it's not really worth posting here. We'll try to visit other pavilions before the festival ends this coming Saturday.

I think this is a good festival for the city to have since Winnipeg (actually the whole of Canada) has such a large and growing immigrant population. It's a way for everyone to be introduced to all these cultures. It's also a good way for children to be exposed to the culture/heritage of their parents and not be totally "westernized".

More info:
Official Site

No comments: