I will not touch any chocolate again for at least a week, I thought, coming home from a sweet tooth trap in the South of the island, cheerfully chatting with my companions in Japanese. Friends from other countries told me that the now-annual chocolate festival in Hamrun is something you see once. It’s enough. This being my first year in Malta, I used the opportunity to experience this event, as each of its components sounded fun – sweet treats, festive atmosphere, and participation of diverse communities.
The first day of September was rich in intercultural events: Appogg (the governmental youth agency) and UNHCR Malta brought several communities together to share food and traditional music in Msida, targeting mostly families in their Building Friendships event, and Spark15, a young migrants’ NGO, publicized a contemporary music and games event in Valletta. It was a tough choice, but Msida and Valletta being relatively close, I expected to make it to both. The first one was attractive for the opportunity to meet organized diaspora communities in Malta. The second one promised an energetic and youthful vibe.
Msida, home of Malta’s junior college, is a well-connected town by the sea. With the event taking place opposite the church, there was a good chance that passers-by would spot it and spontaneously decide to join. The center of the square was kept free for folk dancing performances, and several food stalls were arranged in a semicircle, offering Palestinian/ Levantine, Bangladeshi, Ghanaian, Maltese and Somali food, with face-painting and drums workshops in between. Continue reading
Like many people I know in Hamburg, I join all remotely interesting Facebook events if they pop up somewhere. Aside from being an idea for what to do with my free time, an ice cream market in Hamburg sounded like a great new experience, particularly because Germany is a great place to enjoy vegan and lactose-free versions of popular ice cream sorts. To the joy of organizers and visitors, the weather was perfect for an event like this. The event itself was… less than perfect. Continue reading
“What’s this? What’s this?” curiously repeat an elderly French-speaking couple to each other as they pass by a colourful crowd of all kinds of characters, some holding swords about the size of themselves, some with blue hair or painted faces. It is the fourth time Cosplay enthusiasts get together in Vilnius and show how they can imitate their favourite characters, but lately (at least since 2009) the Japanese embassy happily supports their show(-off) in the framework of a festival called “Now Japan”. In addition to crafts workshops and a movie night, Cosplay was one of the parts of the festival. However, the city, waking up from the summer vacation, felt it more than anything else. Continue reading