Global Village Festival

Global Village Festival

08/September 2012

Picture of Lock 3
Through the collaborative efforts of The City of Akron, United Way of Summit County, ASIA, Inc, Akron International Friendship, and the International Institute of Akron the first Global Village Festival was held at Lock 3 in downtown Akron, Ohio on Saturday, September 8, 2012. The wet sidewalks in the picture above show that it was rainy and cold before the festival got started. The sun came out later and warmed things up. A color guard made up of Garfield High School Junior Navy ROTC students presented the flag and stood at attention as the Star Spangled Banner was performed. In the photo above they were practicing before the opening of the festival.

The Bhutanese community was represented by the Woven in Exile weavers with a table in the large white tent in the upper right of the picture. Manju Rastogi also had a table selling items made by the Bhutanese sewing group.

Picture of Bagpiper
A Scotish bagpiper started the official day by playing and marching around the entire grounds. He was magnificent and people watch in awe.

Picture of Liz, Padma, and Nilam
Liz Kuhn and Nilam Ghimirey are helping Padma Timsina set up Padma’s backstrap loom to demonstrated the weaving technique used by Bhutanese refugee weavers.

Picture of Padma weaving in front of WiE booth
In this photo you can see how Padma’s demonstration is set up in front of the table of bags. The WiE logo is barely visible in this photo, but about 60 woven bags and organizers are spread on the table. Picture of people watching Padma weave on backstrap loom
Padma’s demonstration was successful in attracting the interest of many passers-by that day.

There were about two dozen booths at the Gloval Village Festival selling and represeting artisan and cultural merchandise, ethnic foods, and cultural arts demonstrations.

The indoor O’Neils Common Stage had presentations by Blooming Flower (Hmong Dance), Comunidad Latina (Bolivian Dance), Garfield High School Junior ROTC (Drill demonstration), Cultures of the World for Children (Turkish Folk Tales), NG Energy (Tai Chi), Rags for Joy (Mediterranean Belly Dance & Fashion Show), Flilipino Community (Kalinga Dance), Kiraly Fencing Academy (European & Japanese Fencing), and an Interfaith Dialogue on Peace with representatives from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

Every hour on the main Lock 3 stage there were live performances of music and dance. These included Zeb & Haniyz, the international award-winning female Pakistani pop group which was launching its U. S. Center Stage Tour sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U. S. Department of State. There was Mame Daiko Japanese Drumming, the O’Hara School of Irish Dance, Shri Kalaa Mandir Indian Classical Dance, the St. Nicholas Russian Balalaika Orchestra, a Zumba dance demo, the University of Akron Percussion Ensemble, and the Gracanica Serbian Folklore Group.

Kudos to Michelle Wilson, who was the Event Coordinator, for this ambitious undertaking!!!

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