Sunday, 8 July 2012

Carlisle Culture Bazaar 2012

The Latin band playing beneath the colourful banners

Long time no post!  That's mainly because things have been quiet with me and the weather has been shite to say the least. I have never known so much rain day after day, June was the wettest ever and July has been just as wet so far.  Consequently many of the summer (haha) events have been cancelled which is a shame. But today my cousin Janet and I went to the yearly Culture Bazaar 2012 which was held in a school in the centre of the city.

It was the first time we had been and we really enjoyed it. Carlisle is not as culturally diverse as many cities in this country, maybe because it is quite a small city we are quite geographically isolated. But over the last few years there have been more "incomers" (as we call them) from all over the world resulting in a more multi-cultural and interesting city.  

The Bazaar consisted of various performances including dance, music, exercise, also free complimentary therapies, stalls, activities for children, henna painting, Thai, Nepalese and Indian food.  There were also free workshops in dancing, therapies, understanding other cultures and languages to name a few.
My Nepalese Bag

When we arrived there was a Latin-type band playing in the atrium with kiddies dancing to the music as the adults watched. We wandered around the stalls and both bought lovely Nepalese bags at the stall raising funds for the Gurkhas, a good cause if ever there was.

We looked at other stalls, I picked up some info on a Buddhist group that meets weekly that I may go along to, I've always been a bit of a closet Buddhist.

We then went to have lunch.  Being a non-curry eater there wasn't a lot of choice for me but I got the Thai sweet and sour chicken which was lovely! Janet went for a green curry which she thoroughly enjoyed.  She also decided to try root beer because she'd never had it before and the event was all about diversity!  I said nothing, but had to laugh at the look of horror on her face when she took the first sip, likening it to smelling like Deep Heat (and probably tasting as bad) she went to buy something else, LOL!  It was exactly my reaction when I first tried it in the US many years previously - the first and last time.

My Henna Painting
After lunch we had a look upstairs where the complimentary therapies were going on, the only one actually giving free sessions a the time was reflexology, unfortunately I can't stand my feet being touched so I gave that a miss.

We then decided to get henna painted onto our hands, it wasn't free but we thought it was worth the £5 charge. A beautiful Indian girl did the henna work. She had taught herself and had been doing it since she was 13. You definitely need a steady hand for that kind of work. We were both very happy with our designs, but boy does the henna smell!  It takes about 20 minutes to dry so once home I rinsed of the dried henna paste and it has left a lovely brownish red pattern on my hand, the girl said it should last about five days.

After this we sat down and watched a steel band play, they were just kids from the school where the event was held but they were good.  Watching over them was a black guy wearing a Trinidad t-shirt, obviously their tutor!

After that we headed home, we both really enjoyed it, it was something different and events like this are good for communities, helping foster mutual understanding.  We'll definitely be there again next year.

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