Cultural Expressions 2010
Today was the second annual Cultural Expressions Festival, an exercise in showcasing our slowly but surely increasing cultural diversity. It gives the small ethnocultural organizations - and the big, well-organized ones like the Chinese Cultural Association of NB - a chance to strut their stuff and say, "Hey, we're here! We're part of your community, too!" I went down to volunteer for a couple of hours.
We got by with a little help from our military friends, who made tents available to the associations to use as booths. We were grateful for them as rain threatened mid-afternoon. Nothing fell, though. This was very early afternoon before many people had arrived. It was much more crowded by the time I left around 3 pm.
Every year there are a few more ethnocultural communities who have reached the critical mass necessary to create an association. This year the Greeks were the newest to debut a new organization. Last year it was the Korean Association. In the last few years we've also seen the birth of the New Brunswick African Association, the Canadian-Iranian Association of NB, and a Japanese association, too. It's exciting to watch our diversity grow.
This young Iranian woman did an amazing traditional Persian dance. She is, as Husband observed, absolutely good enough to be a professional performer.
This event is organized by a Steering Committee made up of representatives of all those ethnocultural associations I mentioned before. It's a huge effort - the celebration starts Friday evening and continues all through Saturday and Sunday (June 27 - Multiculturalism Day) and involves dozens of performances. The logistics are mind-boggling. It is an amazing example of cross-cultural cooperation and mutual support. You just feel better about people knowing they can do something like that.
You also feel better about people after handing out helium balloons to little kids for two hours. Helium balloons are like crack for kids.
A very good day.