Fiesta Asia…With a Cold

On Saturday morning, I woke up feeling as if a boxing match was taking place in my head. The night before I went to Local 16 with friends and had a fabulous time (I’ll definitely be back there for the lovely view on their rooftop deck), but I already had the beginnings of a cold coming on. So it wasn’t much of a surprise to wake up to a very stuffy nose and the feeling that I swallowed a cheese grater (mmmmm….cheese). No one, however, has ever accused me of always making sound life decisions. Instead of staying in bed with a book, a cup of tea and some soup, I headed out to the 3rd Annual Fiesta Asia with James.

The festival was held on Pennsylvania Avenue, in direct site of the Capitol Building. Even though I have lived in this city for a year (May 15th was my one year DC anniversary!), I still stand in awe of the Capitol every time I see it. The festival was an all day affair, spanning the many cultures of Eurasia, but I wasn’t really left with a great impression. There were some very interesting demonstrations and exhibits and of course lots of food, but it left a lot to be desired. I will, however, focus on the good and ignore the bad (I’m still trying to figure out what a young girl singing “Find Your Soulmate” had to do with Eurasia).

One of my favorite booths was the Kazakhstan exhibit. Considering the number Borat did on this small country’s “reputation”, I think they felt they had something to prove. The booth displayed not only the history of the country, but the different cultural aspects of it as well. This included a performance by musicians and individuals dressed in traditional clothing.

The Freer & Sackler Gallery, a part of the Smithsonian, also had an exhibit at the festival. And I must admit, I was very happy to find out more about it. I didn’t know much about the gallery or its exhibits, so it was a pleasant surprise to find this gem. And the fact that they were giving out free publications (and not brochures…I got a book chronicling the letters between Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler) didn’t hurt my opinion!

The advertisements for the festival touted a cooking demonstration, something I was really looking forward to the most. The booth was swamped with people and a television crew, so it was very hard to get a good look at it. I only saw the demonstration for a spicy chicken wing, but there was also one for spring rolls (which both James and I thought were taquitos) and a pork dish I still can’t figure out.

I think my favorite part of the whole festival was the dragon dance put on by a local martial arts academy (I never quite caught the name). From what I gathered, the dance was performed by students at the academy, which I thought was a great way to encourage children to explore different cultures.

Overall, the festival was a great way to pass a Saturday afternoon, partly because it was free. And this is why I love DC: there is always something to do, even if you should be at home on Nyquil.

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3 Comments

Filed under DC Events - Cultural

3 responses to “Fiesta Asia…With a Cold

  1. So jealous about your weekend, heh. Great pictures.

    Now I must go to Local 16. It looks gorgeous.

  2. Liz – Don’t be jealous of my weekend. I spent most of it hacking up a lung and the other half blowing my nose into an endless amount of tissue. And the Diva refuses to get me any tea…something about the possibility of her fur being singed.

  3. I feel ya. My brain feels too big from my skull, my nose is constantly itchy on the inside, I can’t stop sneezing or blowing my nose. It’s misery.

    Diva is so selfish.

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