Sunday, March 22, 2009

Viva Victoria Multicultural Festival

I only managed to hang out at Fed Square for a couple of hours (I'm a busy man, yo) but the vibe was nice, the sun was out, and there was all kinds of stuff to look at. Managed to wolf down a Turkish mushroom gozleme (a pastry, strangely almost identical to roti chanai), followed by a Bosnian pumpkin pitta (more pastry - I like pastry), washed down with some Thai iced tea.

The two musical acts I caught on the main stage were fabulous. Kanasuk, the 16-piece group of musicians and dancers performing Mauritian sega numbers, made a major impression on the crowd - the combination of infectious island rhythms and sexy dancing girls is never a bad thing. After that, Nicky Bomba and Bustamento kept up the summery vibe with their Caribbean grooves. On the smaller stage at Birrarung Mar, the Georgian/Bulgarian folk choir Gorani lent a more mellow vibe to proceedings.

Also caught roving Indonesian performance artist Jayadi Pembongan doing some stuff that seemed to draw traditional Javanese dance, martial arts and a bit of breakdancing thrown in the mix.
Out front on the pavement I caught an amazing Rangoli design made solely from grains and pulses (red lentils, green split peas, rice, polenta, carrot rings and kidney beans). While at the top of the hill in fed square was something else you don't see everyday - a Mongolian ger (tent) sitting in the middle of the square.

A celebration of one of Melbourne's greatest assets, its diversity.

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