Monday, May 27, 2013

Living Traditions

Each year in May an event called Living Traditions is held at Washington Square, the City County Building downtown. We often take our students on a field trip there, and I have always wanted to take my own children there, but it never seems to work out. This year it finally did!!

Living Traditions celebrates the variety of cultural traditions of people here in Utah. There are two stages where singers, dancers and others perform. We began by listening to a South American inspired band.

Then we learned how to play bocce ball, a game from Italy that is similar to bowling and pool but not the same as either one. Each team has four balls and you are trying to get your balls the closest to the white ball. You can also try to knock your opponents' ball away from the white ball.

We walked around to see some of the displays. These included but weren't limited to European batik eggs, Somali baskets and clay figurines, Mexican engravings in metal, Navajo weaving and silversmithing, Tongan woodcarving, and many others. There are so many people with remarkable talents.

The girls were able to make paper flowers. We ate food...Michelle had curry, I had Navajo tacos and everyone else had pupusas. We watched dancers from Mongolia where yaks are very important. We watched dancers from the Pacific Islands, particularly New Zealand and Hawaii. My kids were most impressed by the New Zealand warrior dance. They keep talking about the warriors mokos (face painting) and how they stuck out their tongues to intimidate. During the warrior dance, they invited men and boys from the audience to come up and dance and show whether they would be good warriors. It was entertaining.

As we were leaving, we were able to see some African dancers as well.

It was a lot of fun and I really enjoy being exposed to the beauty of so many cultures.