Thousands of people came out to celebrate our region’s cultural diversity at the 8th Annual World of Montgomery. This year’s theme, “A Place Called Home,” was reflected in the welcoming country tents of the International Village, and the interactive activities presented by KID Museum.
Families took part in our Community Portrait, mixing and matching their features with those of others. They also filled straws with the spices they use most at The Spice Index, creating an aromatic display that reflects the diversity and commonalities of our community.
At the Making Home activity, festival-goers built miniature representations of their homes, which were then stacked together to form a colorful, detailed structure. And kids had the chance to use a power drill to mark “Important Places” on an oversized map of Montgomery County.
World of Montgomery visitors grabbed passports and visited nine countries at the festival, including China, Ethiopia, El Salvador, India, Korea, Germany, Ukraine, Indonesia, and the Caribbean. At each tent they experienced the traditional ceremonies, dress, artifacts, and activities of that country, taking part in Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, Ukrainian egg-painting, and Chinese tea ceremonies.
International dancers, singers, and musicians occupied two stages throughout the day. A highlight was the Indonesian Reog Ponorogo dance, with one of the dancers supporting an immense, 80 pound mask with his teeth.
Food also played a major role in the celebration of home and culture. Festival-goers could taste foods from across the globe, as well as learn how to cook international dishes from local chefs. Even kids could get in on the act, learning to make roti, rice balls, tortillas, and injera in hands-on sessions.