Sunday, 19 May 2013

Italian Festival

Yesterday our city held an Italian Festival. It was organised by the Italian Club.

Yes, we are definitely a multicultural mob here. No ghettos. Everyone mixes together.
Thousands of people enjoyed themselves at this free event in the heart of the city.
Getting ready

Lots of Ducatis and Vespas.
I was surprised at how many families here are originally from Italy. I read and hear these names every day, but had never really thought about the traditions and histories of these community members. The lists of names displayed told a story of adventurous and healthy people setting out to learn and live, see the world and thrive.

Italian beer and Italian wine was available.
Few Italians lived in the Top End prior to the 1950s but the wave of post-war migration brought people to Rum Jungle where there was a uranium mine. Hard physical work in an isolated and hot place. The township of Batchelor was the accommodation village at that time.
Many of these families later settled in Darwin and established businesses. Now their children are in respected professions as well. Some Italian families have done well in the construction industry. Yes, I expect they are bilingual and speak Italian at home, even if they were born here.

The Italian Festival had not been held for 23 years and back then had been in a different location. This year it was held in the heart of the city on the lawns outside Parliament House. It was a beautiful, green and shady setting.

Lets do the shopping in this Maserati.
The Senior Italian Ladies Choir sang a selection of folk songs, and my choir, the Darwin Chorale, supported them as did the Filipino Rondala Band. O Sole Mio, Quando quando, and other old favourites. I found singing in Italian to be rather a challenge, but the audience were appreciative.

Is this your Lamborghini?
A few kind people allowed their cars to be displayed. Anyone for a Maserati? A Lamborghini?  I did not even realise these cars were here but they look as if they are used every day. Perhaps I am walking around with my eyes closed.

This photo is rather dark
but hopefully you can just make out the flag throwing troupe.
I enjoyed the display of folk dancing and the flag throwing. Great coffee and cakes. Italian food. Italian drinks. Paintings. A mask making competition. Cooking exhibitions and recipe books. A singing competition. A spaghetti eating competition.

I had a wonderful time.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a fabulous way to enjoy the culture of your neighbours in a convivial atmosphere.


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