"How are you enjoying Canberra's best weekend?" I hear a woman behind me say to her friend. "I mean the rest of the country thinks it is all about Australia Day, but all the locals know that the best weekend in Canberra is the Multicultural Festival."
It is a big call, Canberra's best weekend. I don't know about that, but I do know it is always amazing. Walking through the city transformed into a land of sensory overload is fabulous. Where the smell of delicious food tantalises, the bright colours of traditional costumes amaze and then there are all the fantastic performances. I'm hoping my word pictures are enough because I was so busy looking at everything I forgot to take any photos!
Having been in the dance community for quite some time now I saw a lot of familiar faces around the Latin stage, but I also saw amazing African dancing, there were brightly coloured Bollywood dancers, feathered Pacific Islanders. It was fantastic. And of course S was performing and he was great.
In between watching all the entertainment I ate! There was my first experience of a hopper from Sri Lanka - I'm keen to seek out a Sri Lankan restaurant now. Potato pancakes from somewhere in Europe, a spicy lamb croquette type thing also from Sri Lanka, a Vietnamese satay stick, a delicious watermelon, pineapple and coconut drink from the Pacific Islands. There was so much more I wanted to try, but alas my stomach is only so big.
This year the festival was a little more spread out which was great as the crowds just seem to grow and grow.. I wore my Mum's dirndl (traditional German/Austrian dress) which is somewhat of a mini on me - the skirt is meant to come below the knee - because how many opportunities are there? We wandered, danced, ate and of course being Canberra met up with heaps of people. It was fantastic, I'm already planning my approach for next year (go earlier, wear pants with a stretchy waist band).