Building community, one pavilion at a time

A dancer from the Tamil pavilion at Folklorama

Photo by Dr. Tse Li Luk

Folklorama exhibits the wonders of the world’s cultures through over 40 pavilions and runs from Aug. 6 to 19. Each pavilion showcases a different culture, including traditional dancing, food and decorations. 

Pavilions bring their own flair and give an authentic taste of their culture, and when audience members walk out, they may leave with a greater awareness and understanding of the world they live in. 

“Each (pavilion) tells us a different story from their cultural community,” Martin Pasieczka, a financial committee member and former president of the two-week festival, says. 

The German pavilion, for example, offers plenty of beer to try, while the Indian pavilion features Bollywood dancing for entertainment. By taking part in these experiences, alongside many more that Folklorama has to offer, folks expand their knowledge about the cultures found in Winnipeg.

“(Folklorama) really helps to break down the barriers of people that would otherwise have prejudice. Now we get to understand each other and why we do certain things. It’s because of our cultural backgrounds,” Pasieczka says.

Folklorama creates a safe environment for people to explore the world without culture shock, and, as Pasieczka says, it is “successful because people still want to celebrate who they are, where they’ve come from and where they’re going.” 

Folklorama is a way to meet new people, and many unlikely friendships have formed because of it. Volunteers bond with their peers as they prepare each show, and guests have the chance to meet people they might have never crossed paths with otherwise, Pasieczka says.

Pasieczka sums up Folklorama by saying it is “building community, celebrating diversity and culture.”

WHEN Aug. 6 to 19

WHERE Various venues across Winnipeg

$$$ $6 per pavilion, children 12 and under free, some ticket packs available

DON'T MISS The chance to try different foods at each pavilion


Published in Volume 71, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 1, 2017)

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