Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Multicultural Festival 2.

The festival was a good place to meet friends and make new acquaintances. Children I had taught years ago had grown much bigger, babies who used to ride about in strollers were running about on strong sturdy legs. Teenagers I had last seen in grade twelve were done university and working. Time has moved along in Guelph. Our booth was a fun place all festival. We made friends with our vendor neighbours Elizabeth and Marlene who were selling specialty items from Thailand. We also made friends with Khadi whose wares hailed from Senegal. I have great memories of Dakar Senegal, the country of tall dark graceful beauties who sashay along, never ever in a hurry, with their eyes highlighted in kohl, and light billowy gowns blowing gently about them. So many people stopped by to discover rhythm in our booth or to play delightful foot tapping rhythms from Asia or Africa. We jammed with one and then another and we sold drums. Laughter spilled everywhere between queries: How much is this and then the other? What is this and then the other? We were there as much for exhibition as for sales. Everyone was welcome to touch, to feel, to play to experience. This time I wasn't able to dance to the Mariachi band as I was working. But I remembered Luis and Laura. Once upon a time we had all eaten together with Maria, Martha and Daniel at the food tent and danced to Latino music beneath the big tent. Our workshops were well attended. In Guelph people like a chance to participate in something different. Then we performed two dances at the band shell. It was such a pleasure to see Beata after so many years and her daughter who had been born after we had last met. Then she had two children and now she has four. Wow! In Guelph the place to reconnect is at the multicultural festival.

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