Around the World in… One Weekend
Mississauga hosted 28 cultural pavilions at this year’s Carassauga festival
By A Correspondent
The Carassauga Festival, beginning on May 22, provided non-stop entertainment, food and fun for three days straight, celebrating Canada’s multicultural heritage with the country’s largest festival of its kind.
“The Carassauga Festival is all about new experiences - be it new cuisine, music, dancing or tons of other experiences, there is a ton of things to do and see at this year’s festival,” said Linda Siutra, Executive Director of Carassauga.
The highlight of the festival: the 28 pavilions, each with a different country’s theme. Visitors wer able to go from one pavilion to the next interacting with cultural entertainers, and experiencing diverse foods while being entertained at this family friendly event. One Carassauga passport gave attendees admittance into each of the pavilions across the city of Mississauga.
Here is a look at what each pavilion featured at this year’s festival:
Brazil - Stroll along the Pan-American Promenade comprised of the famous side-walks of Copacabana, Sao Paulo and Curitiba. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win two tickets to Brazil while visiting.
Canada- Engage in the historical perspective of five eras; featuring past and present. See how much you know about your Canadian heritage with Canadian trivia and while you’re there, sign a maple leaf on the guest banner before you go.
Macedonia – Learn how to dance the Macedonian dance, ‘Oro’, while the kids learn how to write their names in Kirilca, the Macedonian alphabet.
Croatia -Watch as passerby’s break into song with Croation Klapa, (meaning group of friends), music traditionally performed accappella. Klapa, spontaneous in nature, makes it hard not to join in withCroation folklore dancing.
Caribbean - Enjoy Jamaica’s national dish of Ackee & Saltfish. It can be eaten any time of the day or week. Afterwards sip on a cold Red Stripe beer, which is brewed in Jamaica by Desnoes & Geddes and was first produced in 1938.
Hawaii – Come out and Luau at the “Aloha Cafe”. Try the world famous succulent pork ono ono, chicken hapa and a display of delicious and irresistible island desserts. At the “Aloha Bar” you can try the ever so popular Mai Tai and take home souvenirs from the islands.
Pakistan - Touch and feel handmade bedspreads, embroidered dresses, handcrafted furniture, and accessories - a showcase of Pakistan’s exports little known to the outside world.
India – India will be offering an all time favorite - samosas. Originating in the state of Punjab, samosas have made their way around India and are hugely popular practically all over world. Children can learn about the culture of India and its bright colours through art.
Italy – Meet celebrity personality host Tony Monaco from Z103.5 radio as Tony joins Italy’s pavilion throughout the weekend. Indulge in a mercato to shop for Italian products, a café to enjoy an espresso, and a section filled with plenty of activities for children of all ages.
Lebanon – Observe the road to justice and freedom in society through Lebanon’s musical plays. Try your hand at the art of Arabic Calligraphy or dress up in cultural costumes and receive a free photo.
Philippines –Experience the Pahiyas festival, afarmers’ thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest with a grand display of colourful rice wafers, fruits, vegetables & handicrafts.
Portugal – Dancing is just plain fun in Portugal. Whether it is the fandango, corridinho, vira or chamarita, the music and costumes embody and demonstrate the soul and spirit of the Portuguese people. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes.
Vietnam – Highlights of the Vietnam pavilion will be the Vietnamese Long Dress, (Áo Dài), fashion show, Vietnam conical hats and easy to love spring rolls.
Africa –View the Nelson Mandela exhibit, and experience a Royal Procession by King and Queen of Africa. Enjoy a fusion of South African dance and musicalperformances taking place through the entire festival.
China – Challenge two professional chess players and gain the chance to win a bottle of ice wine. Come and experience the best of Chinese cultural performances including cultural dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and Lion Dances.
Cyprus – Offering traditional crafts, silk knitting and handmade chairs for sale. Experience Cyprus heritage through traditional and modern cultural dance performances.
Indonesia – Featuring a variety of food including; traditional dishes, snacks, sate, fried noodles, fried banana, spring rolls, soto, gado-gado, vegetable fritters, and tropical fruit mixed drinks.
Iraq – Explore traditional decorations at a fashion and art show. Performances will include cultural dances, cultural singing, and Iraqi musical instruments.
Ireland – Experience traditional Ceili dancing, current competitive dance styles and dancing reminiscent of Riverdance.
Korea – Emphasizing the harmony of the Taeguk, embraced by trigrams transformed to celebrate. This event is truly a unification of diversities.
Poland – Poland will be teaching polka lessons as a jazz band, polish singers and a polka band perform.
Serbia – You are invited to “One Heart, One Soul”, through entertainment by the Sneza Band and amazing folklore performances.
South Sudan – Artifacts for sale. The “konyo Konyo” band, stand-up comedy, and south Sudanese dance groups performing.
Latin American - Be enchanted by the cascade of tropical colors that enhance the incredible cultural treasure of Latin America. Learn steps of Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and much more.
Malta –Listen to live band performances from the marching band and a Maltese guitarist featuring Maltese folklore, known as “Ghana”.
Egypt – Featuring on-site camel ride, or enjoy some Pharaoh-inspired face painting. Gifts, folklore, and a warm, friendly vibe make this fascinating pavilion a must-see this year.
Each pavilion offers something unique, demonstrating a world of culture with pride and pleasure. The Carassauga Festival features a wide variety of activities to depict the culture of their country of origin, including music, food, art, fashion shows, dance, story-telling and much more.
About the Carassauga Festival of Cultures:
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Carassauga Festival of Cultures brings together more than 70 countries to celebrate their proud heritage through exotic foods, breathtaking performances and vibrant costumes. Carassauga hosts more than 327,700 people over three days in May throughout the City of Mississauga, making it Ontario’s largest multicultural festival.