Fusion Festival 2014

As every year, this weekend in Surrey’s Holland Park the city and it’s citizens celebrate the wonderful mosaic of our society.
Fusion Festival showcases the many cultures present on every day in this vibrant city. From the ‘old’ ones as the Meti, who have their tent this year with the theme of Louise Riel – first the hanged traitor of the Confederation, than a truly national hero of modern Canada; the European settlers – the Poles, Germans, Ukrainians, Russians, Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, even Georgia (couldn’t notice this year any of the original settlers tent from British Isles); than Asia, of course, most predominant modern day Surrey community – India, Pakistani, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan and from Asia Minor – Israel and Palestine. Israel’s tent was conspicuously closed (although I noticed some people behind the black tarp covering the entrance) – Palestine alive and fully resplendent albeit sad and somber. If I was a Jew or Israelite, I indeed wouldn’t want to showcase today my country given the onslaught of military might against the defenseless Palestinians in Gaza Strip… The Palestinian tent was in a way divided into two sections: one sided devoted to Christian tradition (we often forget how strong Christian faith was among Palestinians when there was a free Palestine), the other to traditional Muslim tradition. But the one symbol that caught my attention the most was a simple old, rusted key on an old map showing Palestine borders. The hand written note read: this is the key to my home in Palestine. Many Palestinians took a key like that many, many years ago as they were driven by tanks out of their ancestral land. They thought that they will need it once they come back… Most of them are dead now, they children keep the key as a symbol of lost homeland. Just as I keep some namesakes from Wilno… As the comparison is not exactly the same politically and historically, the heart and sentiment does not follow reason … .
More than in previous year I have noticed the African tents and artists: Kenya, Lebanon, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa. And of course South and Central Americas: Bolivia, Argentina, Guatemala, Ecuador. I’m sure there few other I didn’t notice or forgot to mention.
As my stroll through the park was after dusk, I’m sure the crowds were smaller by than. Perhaps that’s why the Pavilion I was mostly associated with in previous years – Polish – looked empty. The simpler and less elaborate decor was dedicated mostly to Polish history and past. This year the host of the Pavilion were from the Polish Canadian Sport and Recreation Club in Surrey.
Personally I sure missed the official opening with young Madison Bell who sung “O’Canada” – daughter of my friend, Michelle Bell.

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
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