Now in its 50th edition, the Folklorama Festival, the world’s oldest fest dedicated to folkloric arts, saw the participation of an Egyptian folkloric troupe with its own pavilion for the first time.
The annual two-week event, this year taking place from 4 to 17 August is held in Winnipeg, Canada, with 50 international pavilions. Egypt’s was located in the University of Manitoba, having showcased its rich folkloric art throughout the first week of the festival.
“Welcome to Egypt: Crossroads of Civilisations,” states Folklorama’s website presenting Egypt’s participation. “After more than 5,000 years of Egyptian history, its pavilion finally arrives to Folklorama this year for the first time.”
The Egyptian pavilion featured Mohamed El-Sayed, a Cairo-born dancer and percussionist specialising in Sufi whirling, in addition to belly dancers. The pavilion also held sessions where attendees could have their names written in hieroglyphic, as well as cooking gatherings in the evening to introduce visitors to Egyptian and Oriental culinary delights such as fuul medammes, koshari, and konafa.
Egypt’s shows were performed thrice daily from 4 to 10 August.
The Egyptian pavilion was organised by Winnipeg’s Egyptian community, whose 5,000 members had enthusiastically embraced the concept of the pavilion, according to Hala Salama, the pavilion’s coordinator.
Folklorama was launched in 1970 marking Manitoba’s centennial, and over the past decades it has grown to become an annual two-week long festival dedicated to the folkloric arts from all around the world.
Folkloric groups from Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa participated in the fest, with each country exhibiting its cultural and folkloric spirit for an entire week.