by William Kendall @WilliamKendall1
One of my early memories in childhood was going with my parents to an event held somewhere in the greater Toronto area. It was held in something like a convention center or other large space, where booths were set up to showcase different countries around the world, with a good many people spending time exploring the area. I don’t know why that memory sticks with me, but it’s left a curiosity about the world at large in me- even if I have yet to get out of North America.
This year is the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, and the city of Ottawa is holding several events throughout the year as well. One of those events is Ottawa Welcomes The World, a collaborative event between the city, numerous embassies here, and various organizations with ties to the countries involved. Different countries are showcased throughout the year in an event held in the Horticulture Building, at Lansdowne Park. It started in March and will run through to the beginning of December.I have already attended several of these events, which have typically been one or two days, including events for Spain, South Korea, Ireland, Rwanda, Taiwan, and the European Union. Other events I have not been able to attend. Embassies participating come from all corners of the world- Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. The only part of the world not accounted for is Australia and Oceania, but perhaps that’s because there’s only so much time in the year. Right now, during the summer, is the peak time of the year, with two or three events in a week, concentrated around the weekend. It’s interesting to drop in and see these. The showcases include music and documentary films at the central stage in the building, the work of artisans, information on the countries at hand, tourism maps, photography of various landmarks and landscapes of those countries. It also includes food- Danish cookies at the EU event, on the one hand, or a pancake baked around spiced cabbage during the Korean event. It’s also educational in its tone. You drop in at an event of this nature and it piques your interest. You learn new things about places you haven’t visited, or may not have even thought of visiting. From showing children the games played in a given nation to giving adults insight about the way of life in another country across the world, the concept is proving thus far to be a compelling way to mark the anniversary year- getting everyday Canadians engaged with learning more about the world around them. Whoever came up with the idea knew what they were doing.
William Kendall is a photoblogger who finds the unique perspective in everyday life. You can follow him on his writing blog, Speak Of The Devil, his photoblog Ottawa Daily Posts, and Twitter @WilliamKendall1.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!