17 October 2022

Embassies open their doors to showcase cultures, traditions and flavours

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Children in cultural costumes

Windows to the World is back after a you-know-what-induced delay. Photo: Events ACT.

A special international showcase of culture and traditions is coming to the embassies and high commissions of the capital this weekend (22 and 23 October).

Windows to the World will give Canberrans the opportunity to enter the gates of more than 20 embassies and immerse themselves in various international experiences from different countries around the globe, including traditional dance performances, art and clothing displays, and authentic food and drinks.

ACT Arts and Multicultural Affairs Minister Tara Cheyne said the popular event would provide insight into cultures from around the world and celebrate Canberra’s love of diversity and multiculturalism.

“Windows to the World is a wonderful chance to enjoy the hospitality of other cultures right here in Canberra. In a time where travel isn’t yet back to pre-pandemic levels, this event is a great opportunity to experience and explore international food, music, performances and more,” Ms Cheyne said.

“More than 20 embassies and high commissions, including the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Embassy of Mongolia, the Indian High Commission and the Embassy of Peru will open their doors to the public for the first time since 2019.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Canberra’s reputation as a global, connected city with strong international relationships and enjoy all that multiculturalism has to offer.”

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Windows to the World was last held in 2019.

“It is a bi-annual event that started as part of the Canberra Centenary projects in 2013,” ACT Events executive branch manager Ross Triffitt said.

“Windows of the World is an opportunity for people to visit all these countries right here in the capital. People can take a short walk from Sweden to Japan and experience a different culture and great things about each country within their own city.”

Mr Triffitt said due to COVID, this year’s event is the postponed 2021 event.

“The good news is next year we will go back to the normal cycle and hold another event,” he said.

“People will get the opportunity to explore the embassy grounds and understand a little more about the different cultures.

“There is a vast range of activities and events to see: there’s a calligraphy workshop from the Japanese Embassy, the Saudis are making fantastic coffee, the Embassy of Spain will have sculptural exhibits with pieces from a renowned Spanish artist, there will be a display of national dresses from the Embassy of Peru and yoga sessions from the High Commission.

“The embassies do a fantastic job of talking about what is unique about their country, what’s special about the country, and people get a taste and a cultural experience without having to travel. That’s the essence of the event. ”

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Windows to the World will have events and activities held at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Parliament House, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Botswana High Commission, the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Hungary, the Indian High Commission, the Embassy of Indonesia, the Embassy of Ireland, the High Commission of the Republic of Malta, the Embassy of Mongolia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Nigerian High Commission, the Embassy of Peru, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Embassy of the State of Qatar, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Embassy of Turkiye.

To find out more about the various activities taking place at each embassy and high commission in Canberra, check out the events program.

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Pretty poorly timed, noting it is essentially sold out…

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