I have no idea what any of you think of, population wise, when you think of the Falkland Islands but we were pleased when we read the statistics from the last census (2006 – there was a census taken on 9th October this year but the results are not yet in) before making the decision to come, at the great number of nationalities represented here, it was 27. When we sat back on considered the facts it was unsurprising as there are many roles that attract ‘contractors’ just like us so there is often a changing population with many nations represented. However, since being here we have also found that a wide spread of these nations and cultures have resettled here permanently as well.
This weekend we were fortunate to attend the second annual Multicultural Weekend. The first day was held at the Falkland Islands Defence Force’s Headquarters (FIDF Hall) and the second day was at the race course. Apparently last year’s inaugural event was only for one day and had four ‘cultures’ represented with tables at the Hall and 400 people attended. So, on Saturday, mid-afternoon, we headed off to the hall for what we thought would be a fairly small gathering. Boy were we in for a shock! We arrived to a place absolutely RAMMED. There were stalls serving free food from countries circling the globe – St Helena, Philippines, Peru, Chile, Falkland Islands, Zimbabwe, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and then a Ghurkhas stand. The smells from the stalls were intoxicating and fascinating, the people manning the stalls were enthusiastic and chatty, many were in national dress, the displays of information were bright, informative and interesting and the whole atmosphere was completely buzzing. The boys enjoyed getting their faces painted and tasting lots of the foods. The Ghurkha curry was indescribably delicious. It was a fabulous event and I couldn’t imagine anything even vaguely similar being put on in small town Northumberland. We didn’t stay on into the evening but later on there were dance demonstrations from many nations, both children and adults.
On the Sunday we were slightly tied with timings of things as Jack had a birthday party to attend but it was a gloriously sunny day so we decided to head to the racecourse for the second day’s events. Sadly we were far too late for the Chilean Asado or the whole roast pig the Philippines’ had contributed, cooked over pits specially dug alongside the race track. We were there in time for plenty of the sports day type events and it was a good fun afternoon. I include here a bundle of photos to give a flavour of the occasion, it was really memorable and all put on for free!
We’d also like to add that there are many other nations represented on the islands and in the school population so maybe next year’s event will be bigger still!
We also had a productive weekend in the garden. Various veggies have been planted, and since the Chilean government have currently put a spanner in the works of fresh exports these maybe increasingly important, two weeks now without fresh fruit or veg from Chile. I also made a purchase of a poly tunnel which we hope to get up in the next week – I had been aiming to hold out and have it as a Christmas present but it just seemed like such wasted growing time. So here is the vegetable patch so far – I wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture.