09 June 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #46: "Around the World in 3 Days"

What do you get when you mix food, drink, friends, 22 different nations represented in one town, and unlimited amounts of time on a Saturday that started with snow (yes, snow people...in Saskatchewan...in June)?  You get MOSAIC, Regina's three-day festival celebrating the various people and cultures that reside in and around the area.  MOSAIC is sponsored through the Regina Multicultural Association and invites various groups to put on a showcase that represents the best of their culture throughout a variety of venues in the city.

It was such a good time and out of 22 pavilions, we managed to get to 11 of them.  You get a passport (the photo at left) and at each pavilion they stamp it for you so you can track your progress as you make your way to each site.  We started at the Polish site where we feasted on homemade perogies and watched traditional dancers kick up their heels.  Next, it was off to Germany where we sampled pretzels and I reminisced about my time living in Kaiserslautern as a teen.  There was singing and dancing and general good cheer -- as was the case when I lived there!  At the Chilean pavilion we ate an veggie empanada drenched in hot sauce and admired the men and women kicking up their heels as they showed traditional dances that were developed in response to the dictatorship of Pinochet.  Next, it was off to the pavilion hosted by the Aboriginal Peoples.  There, we once again saw traditional dances take center stage as a huge crowd of onlookers cheered them on.  The clothing was so beautiful, intricate, and colorful while the headdresses were amazing to look at.

At the Romanian site, we located Dracula's castle on the map and watched an incredible "stick dance" unfold on stage.  Our next stop was one of my favorites...the Ethiopian pavilion.  Dave and I ate a full plate of vegetarian goodness with some injera on the side while we sat and listened to an amazing performer drum, sing, and dance his way to a rhythm that got everyone pumped up.  The energy didn't stop there but only continued as we made our way next door to the Caribbean pavilion.  The dancers were hot and we cooled off by eating some of their desserts and sipping on a cold beverage.

Next up was Scotland!  We took time to soak in the bagpipes, enjoy some traditional dancing, and hear the "Toast to the Haggis" (remember Burns night, anyone?!).  From there we made our way to the Italian pavilion where we listened to a crooner belt out some classics, let the smells of pasta and garlic tempt us, and sampled some of the great desserts they had including tiramisu and pastries.  At the Korean pavilion, we didn't stop eating!  We continued to fill our bellies with Pajeon -- a Korean vegetable pancake.  YUM!  The best part of the pavilion was when a huge group of teenagers stormed the stage for a flash mob dance to a Korean pop song...awesome!  We closed out the evening in Ireland.  Thought we were done eating?  Think again!  We downed four bags of chips while we listened to a great band play and then marvelled at the dancers who took the stage.

None of this can really do it justice...and, well, the pictures don't either.  Guess you will just have to come and experience MOSAIC for yourself.  Dave and I are looking forward to the day when MOSAIC  won't take us just to Regina, but literally around the world...happy travels...

At the Polish Pavilion

Ah, Germany!

Yummy food at the Chilean pavilion

Romanian "stick dance"



Toast to the Haggis

Dave and I at the Scotland pavilion

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