a little east of reality

Monday, April 02, 2007

soy beans and strawberry pocky for everyone!

The international culture night was a huge success - I reckon about 300 people turned up. There were booths for Australia, Greece, the Phillipines, Scotland, England, Samoa, Tonga, China, maybe one or two more I can't remember, and of course Japan. We had to provide some kind of food for people to sample. I had edamame, wasabi peas and strawberry Pocky. And consequently spent roughly half my time in the booth explaining that you don't eat the pods of the edamame and showing people how to squeeze the beans out, and the other half stopping kids from coming back to take Pocky again and again. One Samoan girl was relentless. I told her she had to try the edamame before she had another Pocky stick, and the next time she came back she ate about nine of the edamame. :)

I didn't get a lot of time away from the booth to check things out, the people helping having decided that 'helping' meant putting up a few posters and then spending the rest of the evening with their friends and leaving me to it. But I did get to try treacle tart, something that I'd never had but which was often mentioned in the British boarding school books I used to read when I was a kid. Quite yummy.

There was also almost two hours of entertainment ~ singing, dancing, bagpipe and fiddle playing, and one guy read a bush ballad. I wish I could have done some Japanese drumming but I have no way to get hold of a drum here. It only occurred to me halfway through the night that I could have done a booth and even maybe a song for my own birthplace, Barbados. Maybe next time. We ended the night with everyone singing, "I am Australian." The chorus goes:
We are one, but we are many.
And from all the lands of the Earth we come.
We share a dream and sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.

Quite stirring with 300 people singing. Strangely the chorus seems all about multi-cultural Australia/migrants, but the verses only mention the Aboriginal people and the British convicts/settlers. Nice tune though.

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