June 29, 2008

Italian and Greek Days

June 22, 2008 - A sunny Vancouver day meant the crowds were out in full force for a handful of open air festivals. After taking a quick stroll through the Sapperton Days Festival to warm up, I headed for the Italian Cultural Centre, with singers and dancers on stage, food stalls, and a hall full of people watching the Italy versus Spain Euro 2008 quarterfinal match. There was also a Lamborghini and Vespa on display, and a miniature racetrack where toddlers could drive around in red Ferrari coloured go-karts. Paralympic medal winner Donovan Tildesley was on hand raising awareness and signing autographs.

I did not eat at the Italian food stalls, holding out for some Greek instead. In conjunction with BC's 150th birthday anniversary celebrations, Greek Day was taking place in Kitsilano. A large portion of West Broadway was closed down to vehicular traffic, allowing throngs of people to walk about freely on the street. Arts and crafts, children's activities, live performances, appearances by politicians such as Premier Gordon Campbell, Mayor Sam Sullivan, and Attorney General Wally Oppal, all played second fiddle to the main event - the food and wine. I had pork souvlaki and loukoumades (Greek mini donuts) to satisfy my appetite, before heading home.

ARNABabe Note: Both the Italian and Greek female audiences have been underrepresented in the quest for the ARNABride. They share many important traits with Indians, from a strong sense of family and community to a love of food and culture.