This summer, we embarked on as many adventures as time and energy would allow. We have attended festivals, viewed parades and danced to live music. We’ve absorbed culture, experienced diversity and had a blast!
It’s only now, as the weather seems to be cooling (I think?) and we are settling into our new kindergarten routines, that we are slowing down a bit. So I thought I would do a bit of a photographic round-up of some “travel at home” adventures from our past few months.
In January the “So Frenchy So Chic” festival entered my radar and I didn’t think too much of it until the day of the event, when I woke up with the burning need to attend. It was a risky proposition (and pricey, let’s be honest), because Husband was working and I wasn’t sure if the kids would have the patience or stamina for a full day of Francophilia.
I needn’t have worried. Who could possibly resist the allure of lawn crocquet, gigantic bubbles, delicious delicacies and chic company, all to the live soundtrack of the best that French music has to offer (pictured above on stage is Lou Doillon, who was great; insert pun about rocking cool jeans and genes). I was very grateful that the stage was audible (and just visible) from the face-painting queue, because that is where we spent a great deal of our time!
During February, Multicultural Arts Victoria held a series of concerts in the Fairfield Amphitheatre and we got along to a couple of them. They were a wonderful chance to spend time with friends and inspiring for the kids, who played instruments with one of the bands and danced to music from a variety of cultures.
We celebrated Lunar New Year in a number of ways. Chinatown in Melbourne thronged with people, lions and dragons, and the local Chinese community offered numerous activities for children.
And Melbourne Zoo took the opportunity to highlight its monkeys and decorate enclosures with bright red lanterns for the Year of the Monkey.
Melbourne’s Moomba Festival has fallen in and out of favour over the years, but since I grew up with it I have a soft spot for the parade. Luckily, it was just our kind of thing; filled with fantastic music and dancing by local communities representing the world. My kids loved it.
Finally, last weekend we drove in the opposite direction, to Bendigo, to experience its Festival of Cultures.
We watched Karen people from Burma weaving cloth on simple looms, ate a fantastic lunch (including masala chips, YUM) from the Dhaba Truck, and enjoyed the live-mixing and layered vocals of Geoffrey Williams (pictured below).
This festival seemed to suffer from a slight lack of participation, which I’m sure is partly because there was another arts event on nearby and the huge annual Easter Festival planned for next weekend.
But it was a reminder: if we expect to have access to brilliant cultural events, live music, international artists and fun family festivals, then we need to get up and GO.