It’s funny how time changes your perspective. I love attending the annual Festival of Nations, where ethnic food from 35 countries, folk artisans, and entertainment combine over a four day weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota. I sampled empanadas, arepas and chorizo from Colombia, a caramel apple crepe from France and kolaches from Czech Republic. While everything tasted quite good, in the last decade since I first attended the festival, I’ve either had the privilege of trying those treats in their respective countries, or I had an enormous swath of ethnic restaurant to choose from in Chicago. Once exotic foods like Hungarian, South American, Indian, Thai, Nepalese and Lebanese are no longer Greek to me.
I most enjoy the performances by students and adults alike who are proudly sharing their music and culture. It reminds me that each of us has a rich history and heritage, which make the world a more interesting place. And, that’s something to celebrate.