By Vincent Lee
The Paraguay “Heart of South America” Pavilion is one of the newer pavilions at Folklorama located at the Maples Multiplex Arena, 454 Adsum Drive, just across the parking lot next to the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion.
There is a small community of Paraguayans living in Winnipeg, but that doesn’t stop them from putting on an entertaining show. Bringing in dancers all the way from Asuncion (the capital city of Paraguay), the dance troupe “Expresarte” entertained audiences with traditional dances and colourful, sparkly-feathered costumes. Highly impressive was the bottle dance where at one point, one of the dancers had balanced 12 bottles on her head — this was definitely a must see to believe. According to one of the pavilion volunteers, the origin of the bottle dance is unknown but there are two stories that tell different origin stories of the dance. The first was about a lady who broke a vase while carrying it on her head and had to use a bottle on her head instead, while the second story was about a honey bottle that was used for special occasions. Now, dancers compete to see how many bottles they can dance with on their heads for pride. For more clarification of the story, you’ll have to ask them about it while you’re there.
Food includes tasty empanada (ground beef prepared in a herbs and spices wrapped in a crust), sopa (cheesy corn bread), chipa (crusty cheese roll), and beef ribs. Because they are a South American country, they know how to prepare beef — trust me on this. Unfortunately, the shipment of Paraguayan alcoholic beverages hasn’t arrived yet, but they do have the normal selection of Folklorama beer.
Remember to visit their cultural display with an assortment of items from Paraguay as the theme for this pavilion is the celebration of 200 years of Paraguay independence marked on May 14-15, 2011.
Showtimes are nightly at 6:45 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
View the photo gallery below.
ChrisD.ca video/Vincent Lee