This past Sunday I spent the afternoon with my family, enjoying the colorful sights and sounds of the Skokie Festival of Cultures. What great fun!
We really enjoyed the energetic performance by Evanston Escola de Samba, a favorite of my husband's. I doubt there was a single person not dancing (or at least swaying) to the music!
As for me, I was especially impressed by the dancers from Jasmin Jahal Dance Company, performing dances from Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. (I'm pretty sure my hubby liked them, too!) I confess that I've tried belly dancing classes, so my interest was piqued to begin with. These dancers were incredible! The audience was enthralled by the bright costumes and the fluid, graceful moves.
I learned that Jasmin Jahal Dance is also the host of Chicago Shimmyfest, held in July. I may need to go check that out! And by the way, the spectacular dancers are available to perform at weddings!!
In addition to the entertainment, the Festival of Cultures offered an International Market, as well as booths with organizations representing different countries. I chatted with a nice woman at the Phillipine both, who gave me a recipe for Adobo Chicken, which I plan on trying this week. The Thailand booth featured a woman carving the most intricate designs from fruit & vegetables. She made a fish from a melon and was in the process of carving carrot tulips as we watched. To the delight of my children, the Germany booth gave out mini packets of Gummi Bears.
It was a great afternoon, capped off by dinner at Pita Inn. Falafel, hummus, chicken shawarma, rice pilaf & mint iced tea - my idea of heaven!
In any case, this festival got me to thinking about the many couples getting married who come from rich, fascinating cultures. It's important to remember that, what's common to you and your family, may be new and exciting (and fun!) to your guests!