The Embassies’ Festival, a unique concept on the Romanian cultural landscape, ended last Saturday on the main stage in Lumea Copiilor Park. It was a first successful edition of the festival attended by over 50 diplomatic missions and cultural institutions offering exquisite shows of music, dance, gastronomy and handicraft workshops. Through their events the participants aimed to “Open Your Culture” and to enrich the audience’s souls and spirits.
The organizers from Escu Association next to its partners provided four locations to host exclusive cultural events and performances for five days: Romania’s National Library, Lumea Copiilor Park in District 4 of the Capital, Studio Cinema and Galateca Gallery. Visitors enjoyed visual art exhibitions, movie screenings, gastronomic tastings, music and dance shows, handicraft and folklore events, customs and craft parades, all rejoined in a thematic carnival celebrating the world cultural diversity.”The Romania Journal” was among the media partners of the event.
The festival kicked off on September 1 with an opening gala at “Ion Dacian” Musical Theatre attended by Romanian FM Bogdan Aurescu and numerous foreign diplomats who enjoyed a touching recital by Grigore Lese, “The Salt of the Earth”. FM Aurescu expressed his joy about the festival running at the same time with the Annual Meeting of Diplomacy, saying the festival’s urge- Open Your Culture– proves the availability both of the foreign diplomatic missions in Bucharest and of the audience and Romanian civil society “to understand and accept diversity, to equally share and receive.”
The festival continued with a complex exhibition hosted by the National Library where several civilizations connected their cultures under the same roof.
“The blend of the diplomatic space and the cultural one is fortunate, as, besides the political and economic grounds, culture and beauty will be always connecting us,” Bogdan Stanoevici, secretary of state within Culture Ministry told the varnishing day event.
Romania’s central exhibition included a traditional folk costumes display, ranging from some pieces similar to those worn by Queen Mary of Romania- 12 costumes from Muscel, Arges, Mehedinti and Vrancea regions, with one of them really having belonged to Queen Mary.
Romania’s stall also hosted several patrimony cultural objects such as a painted ceramic pot dating back in 46000 before Christ, as well as three works of massive bronze signed by Giulian Dumitru and inspired by Cucuteni culture and the Luminu-by Luminish collage presenting lighting objects made of manually recycled paper.
The Romanian Cultural Institute attended the event with “Great Romanian innovators” exhibition, celebrating the Romanian personalities whose innovations and discoveries had a notabe impact on the country in the past two centuries.
Against this background, Ionut Budisteanu, one of the most appreciated Romanian young inventors and IT genius, launched its VisionBot, a robot that can help students, young entrepreneurs, investors and all technologies professionals to design various electronic devices in their own workhouses. In 2013, Time magazine ranked Budisteanu among the first 16 most influent young men in the world.
Romania’s National Library also enabled countries like South Africa, Algeria, Armenia, China, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, British Council-UK, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Syria, USA, Turkmenistan, Uruguay and Venezuela to present their traditional art, national cultural, cuisine and customs. So, visitors could admire the tea ceremony art in the Japanese and Chinese cultures, the art of kimono wearing, traditonal costumes from Morocco, El Salvador, Turkmenistan and Syria, ornamental objects from South Africa, China, Indonesia, UAE, Syria and India.
The audience also enjoyed ancient sculptures and figurines belonging to Maya and Aztec civilizations, photos capturing the live of various peoples such as the carnival in Uruguay, old maps related to Armenia’s history, a wonderful exhibition rejoining paintings by Nigerian artist Kingsley Nwabia, landscapes and orchids from the heart of Venezuela signed by artista Yasmina Moscovici, a commemorating exhibiton of Irish poet W.B. Keats, graffitto from the streets in Kuala Lumpur, photos illustrating diplomatic archive documents (British Council) and photoreports from Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Syria, Armenia and others.
Galateca Gallery hosted “Hands of Korea: Hanbok, Bojaghi, Joomchi & Beyond” exhibition signed by Young Im Na and organized by the South Korea’s Embassy in Bucharest to mark the 25th anniversary of the Romanian-Korean diplomatic relations. The display rejoined three original Korean crafts: Bojaghi (the traditional Korean fabric used for decorations and packing), Joomchi ( a 1,000-year-old technique of making paper) and Hanbok (the traditional Korean cloth, cherished for over 1,600 years).
Cinema goers could see a range of 20 movies signed by Romanian and foreign directors at Studio Cinema during September 1-4. Fiction and documentary films from Armenia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Great Britain, Romania, Russia, Syria, US, Uruguay, Venezuela, India and on behalf of the International Organization for Migration. The movie fans were particularly impressed by ‘Stalker’ directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, attended by over 1,500 persons.
Artists from Argentina, Japan, Peru, Ireland, Indonesia or South Africa performed exceptional shows in Lumea Copiilor Park, while over 100 stalls of the embassies offered a journey through the world cultures, inviting visitors to enjoy their customs, traditional dishes, language workshops and musical performances.
More than 50 artists performed on the main stage of the festival: Doina Ensemble from Romania, the Russian Lipovan Ensemble in Romania representing Russia and performing Russian balet and romances. The “Angela Hondru” Romanian-Japanese Center offered a performance of Taiko-Japanese percussion, while Ellas Ensemble thrilled the audience with Greek traditional music and dances.
Steysha School of Irish Dance & The Sorted Session representing Ireland performed an extraordinary show of Irish music and dances, while Sin Fronteras exotic band represented Peru. Indonesia attended by a hypnotizing show of ritualic shows. South Africa offered a concert of percussion and African rhythm performed by Ikhaya Band, while Confucius Institute came with martial arts demonstrations and Chinese music performed at traditional instruments.
Argentina had an artistic moment of Argentinian tango from Tango Show “Luna Tango” performed by the Association for Culture and Tango, while India displayed a classic Indian dance show performed by Carmen Cotovanu Pesantez and “Euterpe” Art Center Group and a mini concert in the Bollywood style performed by Partha Ray.
The festival ended on the rhytms of British contemporary music mixed by DJ David-Radio Selector, with British Council attending. An impressive fireworks signed by EuroMex joined the closing performance.