Every year in late summer, Canberra’s civic centre is taken over by hundreds of white tents, showcasing the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of many nations, in the spirit of celebrating our cultural diversity. It’s something I really look forward to every year, there is no greater event facilitated by the local government, in my opinion. It attracts everyone – young, old, families, party go-ers, alternative and dead-straight mainstream types – a complete cross-section of the community.
The program is extensive and it was much larger this year than last, with 250,000 people tipped to enjoy the weekend, they even closed down a few of the major CBD streets to spread things out a little.
There were musical and dance performances around every corner and lots of tents selling different national cuisine. We tried food from Sudan, Tibetan momos, the best pad thai I’ve experienced since visiting Thailand 6 years ago, some gorgeous Italian pastries for dessert, plus a few yummy beers from the Chez Republic. It’s authentic food, made by proud people and it’s beautiful.
I come away with a sense of connection with my community at these sort of events, and it feels great. I’d really like to cultivate this feeling more, I’ll have to put some thought to that.