Multi-cultural Soirée

by Jonathan Frerichs.

Good memories come in part from having something to remember.

multi-cultural soiree pic credit Maarten Wilbers



The Icelandic World Cup Clap is just that something from this event.





Everyone had a chance to use it, starting with a haunting Viking Ballads sung by Kristin Tomasdottir with Gudrun and Elizabeth, and Arni Danielsson asking all to stand and try an Icelandic version of the Hokey Pokey which serves as an anti-dote to long, sunless winters.

Tony and Henry Herder mimed American cultural treasures such as baseball and pheasant hunting. Fulata Moyo revealed some of the special powers endowed on people who are born feet-first in Malawi (and perhaps elsewhere).  John Evans-Klock paid tribute to the respect and rewarding human contacts bestowed on an somewhat aging foreigner these last three years in Ghana.
Seated like sages on a rug right where the altar usually stands, Wairimu Schmale and Cynthia Wilburs-Muturi provided answers to vexing inter-cultural questions brought to them by children and grown-ups.  Various anxieties were assuaged, and heads nodded during a testimony about how important it is to make friends with local citizens in this city of transient foreigners.

The room fell silent when the Von Rimmer Trio (Chad, Paul Michael and Luke Rimmer) sang a James Taylor song called “Carolina”—their home and his.  An inter-generational duo, Emese Posfay and Attila Orban, shared Hungarian folksongs. Emese is a member of the parish for nearly 50 years and Attila is a young seminarian here for a year from Transylvania.  Pastor Andy “Banjo” Willis closed the evening with a sing-along, banjo picking, and a prayer of thanks.

The ethnic food, fun and fellowship were all collective efforts. Good food and lively table talk among members, friends and newcomers were as much a part of the program as the various acts offered.

9 cultural “treasures”—stories, skits, songs and sagacity
21 nationalities
26 delectable dishes
57 participants
75 percent joining the clean-up crew at the end, a kind of “flash mob”.