As soon as I walked into Folklorama‘s Chilean Pavilion, I suddenly realized I knew nothing about Chile. I knew it’s in South America, but that’s about it.
Thankfully, the first thing you see when you walk in is the cultural display, where you can learn about the country before watching the show. For example, I learned that Easter Island is in Chile — and you can take a selfie with the famed Easter Island Heads. The display has tables for each region with artifacts covering every square inch of the table, giving some history and a glimpse into life in the most southern South American country (which also means it’s the closest to Antarctica — something else I realized while there).
WINNIPEG — One of my oldest and dearest friends is Icelandic, and everyone who knows her knows that. Throughout the years, she’s made us (and made us try) vinaterta, taught us about the many Icelandic versions of Santa (one of whom will leave a potato in your shoe if you’ve been bad), and showed us different significant words from the language. I didn’t know it then, but her kindness and willingness to spread knowledge were a small representation of what the Scandinavian community has to offer.
WINNIPEG — No talk of Brexit here — all four countries of the United Kingdom are living in harmony at Folklorama.
Our tour guide, one of the youth ambassadors, whisked us away as soon as we walked in, took us up to the cultural display, and began discussing with us the incredible amount of cultural contributions the United Kingdom has given the world. We talked everything from national flowers (did you know that Northern Ireland has two national flowers? And that one of them is a leek?) to our Hogwarts houses (they’ll sort you if you don’t know) — be sure to ask the volunteers questions, because they’ll be able to answer.
WINNIPEG — “Oh my God, this whole place smells like garlic shrimp.” That was the first thing that ran through my head as I walked into Folklorama’s Spain Pavilion. If you know me at all, you know I love seafood. This was the place for me.
The theme of this year’s Spain Pavilion was fiesta, and our tour guide walked us through the posters on the wall and different regions that hold different festivals throughout the year. Other than the posters, there was a few figurines on a table, and that was it. The cultural display left a lot to be desired.
WINNIPEG — From the time you walk into the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, you know that the place to be at Folklorama’s Caribbean Pavilion is near the main stage — that’s where the food is, and that’s where the party is.
The cultural display, although wide and sprawling, felt much more like a market than an educational display. Jewellery, handmade wares, and CDs from the Winnipeg Steel Orchestra were on sale — and some unrelated items, like crocheted Pokémon figures. It’s worth walking around and looking at what the vendors have to offer, but I suggest skipping past the Bob Marley toques.