Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Folklorama: The world in your backyard

Here are our travel tips for the 19 pavilions of Week 1. Each pavilion includes so much more food, drink and entertainment than we can include in this space, but we hope this will whet your appetite.

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John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

Performers at Folklorama's German Pavilion Monday. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

1. Africa/Caribbean

Grant Park High School, 450 Nathaniel St.

FOOD: Your taste buds will be exploding with delight with any of the dinner plates. Jerk chicken, curried chicken and calypso ribs are all $10. For dessert, try the coconut drops or gizzada ($2.50 each).

DRINK: Rum is the specialty spirit of the Caribbean, and nothing hits the spot better than the rum punch or pina colada ($5 each). Red Stripe, one of the most popular beers in the world, and the less-well-known but equally tasty Carib, can be had for $5, too.

SHOW: There are few things that get your hips shaking and your feet stomping like the Ariya Afrika dancers and the Afro-Caribbean Dancers. Clyde Heerah & the Paradize band and the Drum Café will keep the beat going, too.

BEST REASON TO GO: Prince JoJo just might be the most popular entertainer at Folklorama. The limbo dancer from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, can contort his body in ways not possible for regular humans without requiring a spine transplant. And, of course, he finishes by limboing under fire.

CULTURE SHOCK: Do not confuse this pavilion with the Africa or Caribbean pavilions. They all have unique food, drink and entertainment.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: This pavilion has been the gold standard for years. A bigger venue, perhaps?

-- Geoff Kirbyson


2. Brazilian

Heather Curling Club, 120 Youville St.

FOOD: Feijoada (a black bean and meat stew) with rice, chicken skewers or a sample plate of one skewer and feijoada with rice will set you back $10. Or for $3, you can try the cheese buns, potato salad or crab cakes (three to a serving.) But the best of the lot is dessert. For $3 you get a choice of mango, coconut or chocolate ice cream or, our favourite, yummy coconut cake.

DRINK: Offerings include Sul Americana, a high-end Brazilian beer in a 600-ml size, for $10, or a more reasonably priced Brazilian beer, Xingu, $6. Perhaps better known is the caipirinha, a Brazilian spirit punch, in lime or passion fruit. It's a bit overpriced at $6, particularly the lime drink, which bore no taste of alcohol. A selection of domestic drinks is also available. Alarmingly, for a venue without air conditioning that heats up fast, bottled water is $2.

SHOW: The last 20 minutes of the show are stupendous. The performance would be greatly improved by not opening with a videoed infomercial for local lessons in percussion and capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts disguised as dance developed more than 400 years ago by African slaves and natives. But the drums and dancers -- in fabulous costumes -- mesmerized the crowd.

BEST REASON TO GO: It's a toss-up. Either the coconut cake (we did say it was our favourite) or the dancers' fantastic feathered headdresses.

CULTURE SHOCK: Oprah may flog acai berry as an expensive weight-loss supplement, but it finds its roots in the Brazilian rainforest where it grows wild. Brazilians eat it on their granola or in ice cream.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The cultural display and souvenir stand were a bit of an embarrassment. A word to the wise for organizers: A cooler venue and a warmer welcome would be nice.

-- Julie Carl and Jane Carl


3. Casa do Minho Portuguese

Casa do Minho Portuguese Centre, 1080 Wall St.

FOOD: Because the sea is such a way of life for many Portuguese, the country is known for its seafood. The seafood platter ($20) is a great way to try many different offerings such as mussels, clams and large shrimp in a deliciously spiced sauce with freshly baked bread for dipping. But there is a large variety of non-seafood Portuguese meals as well.

DRINK: Sample Portguese beers such as Sagres and the strong, pale lager, Super Bock ($6 each). Portugal is home to the sweet, fruity and heavy-bodied port wine, which would make a great pairing with any rich docaria (dessert). Cool down from the summer heat and the pavilion's spiced cuisine was a bottle of refreshing Portuguese Sumol ($3), a fruity, carbonated pop.

SHOW: Live bands entertain audiences outside while talented dancers captivate audiences with their exuberant, energetic performances indoors. With the stomping of performers' feet and the clicking of castanets, you will find yourself wanting to jump up right beside them to join in on the fun.

BEST REASON TO GO: With the friendly, warm hospitality of its people and vivacious dancing of its performers, you will feel right at home in this pavilion.

CULTURE SHOCK: The rooster is a common emblem of Portugal. Look up the legend of the Rooster of Barcelos for a fascinating tale associated with 17th-century Portuguese cavalry.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Although there was plenty of space for outdoor entertainment, this popular pavilion could have used even more seating space for people watching the indoor performances.

-- Eden Ramsay


4. Chilean

Notre Dame Recreational Centre, 271 ave de la Cathédrale

FOOD: The empanadas -- cheese, beef, chicken or seafood -- were fluffy and fresh and a reasonably priced tasty snack for $3-$5.50. Porotos Granados (beans and corn) is a thick and warm ($8) soup and charquic°n (beef and vegetables) is a hearty stew ($8).

DRINK: You can try a couple of varieties of pisco sour. Pisco is brandy common to Chile that has a tequila-like flavour. There's also the borgo±a, made with cold red wine and strawberries.

SHOW: The mantra is "Welcome to Chile 2014" and you do feel welcome. The stage features a live band and vocalists, the Chile Lucha y Canta, who perform and sing most of the music. If you have ever wondered if men can dance while wearing large silver spurs, you will see it done to perfection here in the national dance of Chile -- the cueca.

BEST REASON TO GO: There's alpacas -- not live ones, but products. Chile is known as the home of these domesticated llama-like creatures. Their fabulous fleece is warmer than sheep's wool, not prickly and contains no lanolin so is also hypoallergenic.

CULTURE SHOCK: There was an excellent display at the back of the arena of Chile's crafts, art and things to see in the country. A take-home information sheet on the country and its history was available -- a quick and clever way to help guests learn about the country and some easy reading for the trip between pavilions.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: I had to look it up afterwards to learn why the men were wearing spurs and the women were waving handkerchiefs above their heads during the cueca. It is because it is a parody of the courtship of a chicken and rooster.

-- Ashley Prest


5. Chinese

Dynasty Building, 2nd Floor, 180 King St.

FOOD: When in China, expect traditional Chinese food -- chicken balls, chow mein, sweet and sour pork, mixed veggies. Combos range from $5 to $7. No surprises, nothing spicy, a lot of sweet tastes. And dessert? Hmm. Well, you can pick up four fortune cookies for $1, and go with the one you like best.

DRINK: Make sure you check out the jasmine tea or Chinese beer Tsingtao, which go much better with Chinese food than pop.

SHOW: These two shows are superb. The ethnic group nights (Thursday to Saturday) offer acts ranging from Chinese rap to traditional dances to a hot fashion show. The traditional classic show (final one Wednesday) features dances from the Han, Tang and Qing dynasties, melodic lutes and a tai chi sword dance. The lion dance finale happens after each show in the Chinese garden outside.

BEST REASON TO GO: The shows! The trick? Come early, try to get seats near the front, eat first and be set up to watch closely when the show starts.

CULTURE SHOCK: Your Canadian name has a Chinese equivalent, which calligraphy artists paint on frameable paper in the cultural-display room.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: China is large and diverse; the cultural display is small, perhaps to hustle people outside in time for the lion dances.

-- Maureen Scurfield


6. Ireland-Irish

290 Dubuc St., Holy Cross Church

FOOD: The best Irish stew this side of the pond -- delicious, dark gravy, tender beef and potatoes. The shepherd's pie is mild-tasting, great for the kids. The colcannon, a mix of mashed potatoes, kale and cabbage, is an acquired taste. A delicious apple crumble and Irish Myst cake ($2.50) round out the comfort food.

DRINK: PSST! No shortage of liquor here. They cooled the beers for Canadian tastes, though in Europe they'd be room temperature. The dark ale was lovely -- perfect choice with Irish stew and soda bread ($6). The lighter beers suited the shepherd's pie entree ($6), and the iced Celtic coffee ($6.50) is a winner.

SHOW: First, let's settle the bets around the room as the show starts. Those bouncing "curls on the gurls" from the McDonnell School of Irish Dancing are wigs, doncha know? Costumes and vigorous dances get an A-plus. The O'Hanlon Horsebox band from Ireland entertains with guitars, banjos, drums and stomping feet. They sing rollicking sea shanties about nasties like the hated King Louis of France with scurvy punchlines like: "And then he got his head cut off -- and spoiled his constitution!"

BEST REASON TO GO: The rousing show and the huge cultural exhibition in the basement, with enthusiastic tour leaders.

CULTURE SHOCK: When digging up an old Irish bog site, remains of stone houses with hearths from as far back as 3,000 BC were discovered.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The female dancers were great -- award-winning even. But we were hoping to also spy a few guys stomping Riverdance-style.

-- Maureen Scurfield


7. Italian

Centro Caboto Centre, 1055 Wilkes Ave.

FOOD: While you can't go wrong with any of the Italian pastas (unless you have a gluten allergy, maybe), the juicy bruschetta for $3.25 and the roasted chicken, or pollo arrosto, for $5 were standout menu items. The pavilion's menu is well-priced considering the generous portion sizes. Finish with tiramisu for $5, cannolis for $4.50 and gelato for $5.

DRINK: There are many alcoholic and non-alcoholic options and two bars. Most true-blue Italians would opt for red or white wine at $5.50 per glass or $24 per bottle, but there also imported beers, Peroni and Moretti, for $5.50 apiece. Cafe 13, which also houses the site's cultural display, offers lattes, cappuccinos and espressos, among other Italian pops and liqueurs.

SHOW: A traditional Italian piazza serves as the backdrop. The show, which is largely carried by young female performers, has a good variety of acts -- from tambourine and stick dancing to a cover of the old standard, Time to Say Goodbye, originally sung by Andrea Bocelli.

BEST REASON TO GO: For dinner. Might I suggest a well-balanced meal of cannolis, gelato and wine?

CULTURE SHOCK: Most people were flocking to Cafe 13 to get their caffeine and gelato fixes, rather than to see the cultural display. The display -- which bills itself as a market -- sells various knick-knacks, but doesn't offer much insight into Italian culture (although the for-sale prints of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were amusing).

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The trio of MCs who performed scripted vignettes between the acts seemed over-rehearsed. The show could benefit from more improvisation to keep things interesting.

-- Jessica Botelho-Urbanski


8. Japanese

St. Joseph's Hall, 515 College Avenue

FOOD: There's sushi of course, and a little mixed tray of well-made rolls was a solid deal for $6, as well as the bundles of onigri rice cake flavoured with fish or plum. If you've never tried a Japadog before, they serve a version here, hotdogs piled high with mushrooms or noodles.

DRINK: Sip a Sapporo beer, or challenge your mouth a little more with sake, served warm or cold.

SHOW: Japan's culture stretches from stoic, ancient traditions to explosive young updates on rock 'n' roll, so there's a little bit of everything onstage here: a jangly performance from rock outfit Bounce, a display of elegant traditional dance. The big finale is a thunderous three-song set from Hinode Taiko, the Canadian Prairies' oldest purveyors of the stunning drum performance.

BEST REASON TO GO: Japanese culture is rich with practical traditions elevated into art -- origami, for instance, or the fabric-wrapping art of furoshiki -- and the basement display area is full of chances to learn about some of these, or to pick up some Japanese art.

CULTURE SHOCK: There are about 1,800 Japanese-Canadians in Manitoba, and many are descendants of B.C. families forced here to work on sugar beet farms during Second World War-era internment. That's a shameful part of Canada's history -- and a testament to the community's resiliency.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: There's a martial arts demonstration 15 minutes before each show, while folks are still working through the food line. Honestly? It would make a great high-energy addition to the show proper.

-- Melissa Martin


9. Nayong Pilipino

Tec Voc High School, 1555 Wall St.

FOOD: Catered by Jimel's Cuisine, the pavilion offers all of the most delicious Filipino specialties: pancit (rice noodles with vegetables), lumpia (pork spring rolls; $8.50 for 12 small ones -- perfect for sharing) and BBQ pork skewers ($3). For dessert, try banana fritters (three for $2) or the green Jello, coconut milk and young coconut treat, taho for $5. You can't take your meal into the auditorium, so arrive early, or plan to stay afterwards.

DRINK: Specialties include pineapple and coconut juices ($4) as well as the favourite import beer, San Miguel ($5).

SHOW: Dancers took the audience on a whirlwind tour of two regions of the Philippines -- rural and Muslim -- which included a number in which two dancers balanced on bamboo poles resting on the shoulders of two other dancers, imitating ships at sea.

BEST REASON TO GO: Definitely the energetic performance and the friendly pavilion volunteers!

CULTURE SHOCK: The Republic of the Philippines is made up of 7,107 small islands, but is altogether just a bit larger than the U.K.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The auditorium isn't air-conditioned at Tec Voc High School, but if you visit the souvenir area before the show, you can pick up a beautiful fan to keep yourself cool during the performance.

-- Larissa Peck


10. Pavillon Canadien-Français

Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd.

FOOD: A great meal. The Franco dinner is your best bet. It includes roasted potatoes, vegetables, coleslaw, biscuit, maple tart and choice of meat pie, bison meatballs, salmon pie or pea soup and a fountain drink for $10.50. The salmon pie is out of la monde. Or you can buy food individually. Hint: Add the sugar pie to the Franco dinner for a mere $2.

DRINK: You'll feel très French-Canadian drinking caribou for $4.50. Or for the less adventurous, there's reasonably priced wine, beer, shots and specialty coffees. This venue is lovely and cool, but bottled water is still overpriced at $2.

SHOW: The show is as smooth as any professional production. It features singers and dancers who truly entertain while telling the story of French Canada. We defy anyone not to tap their toes along with the fiddlers and cloggers. A very nice touch has the performers line the exit and thank the crowd for coming. Probably the brainchild of the same organizer who thought to have a volunteer offer maple fudge as a welcome.

BEST REASON TO GO: A wonderful evening out. Not to be missed.

CULTURE SHOCK: Lumberjacks, who hold an important place in French-Canadian folklore and history, burned roughly 7,000 calories a day.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Nothing. A perfect pavilion.

-- Julie Carl and Jane Carl


11. Punjab

Punjab Cultural Centre, 1770 King Edward St.

FOOD: Oh, just follow your nose -- the savoury aromas wafting from the banquet hall will show you where to go. The adjoining Taj restaurant offers a mouth-watering spread of Indian classics, from channa masala (curry chickpeas) to sticky-sweet gulab jammun dessert balls (two for $4). Best bet: grab a platter ($11 for veggie, $12 for chicken or goat).

DRINK: Take a tipple of imported spirits including the Royal Challenge blend, one of India's top-selling whiskeys, or Old Port rum, distilled with Indian cane sugar. On a less-boozy note, don't miss the mango lassi ($5), a refreshing yogurt drink.

SHOW: Winnipeg is blessed with a vivacious young Punjabi community, and they just rock this big stage. The entertainment changes throughout the week, but every night you will see an electrifying show jam-packed with bangin' bhangra beats and brilliant dance routines. On opening night, the highlight was a thrilling display of gatka, a Sikh martial art, complete with spinning swords.

BEST REASON TO GO: Besides that show? Now in its fourth year at Folklorama, the Punjab pavilion is freshly settled into this brand-new venue, and the space is beautiful, with a fabulous sound system and lots of room to groove along.

CULTURE SHOCK: About two-thirds of Punjabis are Sikh -- it's the only region of India with a Sikh majority -- and it's fair to say many Canadians don't know much about that faith, its history or traditions. Good news: The warm and chatty volunteers in the upstairs display area are happy to answer questions.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Um, can we have seconds of the food?

-- Melissa Martin


12. Romanian

Bronx Community Centre, 720 Henderson Hwy.

FOOD: Romania includes the region of Transylvania, the real-life locale of fictional stories about vampires, so it's cute that this pavilion offers a main dish of chicken Dracula, which is served with a garlic sauce to keep away blood-hungry intruders (with potatoes and braised cabbage, $8.75). Another popular dish is the pork schnitzel ($9.50). For dessert, try the savarinne, a flavoured cake drizzled with syrup and whipped cream ($3.50).

DRINK: Sip and savour, don't guzzle, because Romania is renowned for making connoisseur-quality wine and plum brandy, thanks to Black Sea humidity and 300 days of sunshine a year. A palate adventure is the bloody fang (that Dracula theme again), which mixes plum brandy, wine, 7Up and cherry syrup ($4.50).

SHOW: In front of a huge mural of a Romanian mountain vista, a large stage is filled with dancers on the cusp of adulthood who enliven the room with their youthful grace and beauty. Young men in embroidered tunics stomp the beat with shiny shoes, pounding out polite passion; maidens answer the call with red-lipped smiles that match the red flowers in their hair, swirling their skirts with promise curtailed by the need to stay in step.

BEST REASON TO GO: A hallway is lined with tables of crafts and art, including the Eastern Orthodox religious motifs that are dominant in Romania. The hallway ends in an installation that shows the interior of a representative Romanian room, couches complemented by woven throws and embroidered pillows, tables laden with carved utensils and patterned plates, walls hung with art.

CULTURE SHOCK: They have a mammoth picture of the real Transylvania castle that was the site of the story of Dracula. Pavilion volunteers will take your picture in front of the castle and make it look like you were really there.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Please tell us more about the Romanian community in Winnipeg. Where do they live, worship and socialize? Are there Romanian restaurants in Winnipeg? We want to know more.

-- Carl DeGurse


13. Russian

St. James Civic Centre, 2055 Ness Ave.

FOOD: Try a portion of pelmeni, beef dumplings similar to perogies, served with sour cream ($5) with a side of plov, rice with apricots and raisins ($4).

DRINK: Enjoy Baltika, a Russian lager in a generously sized bottle for only $5. A shot of premium Russian imported vodka will only set you back $4.50.

SHOW & DISPLAY: Learn about the samovar, the traditional Russian tea dispenser that also served as an air freshener. Later you'll be entertained by the sensual Gypsy Dance, performed by the dance troupe Revival from Toronto.

BEST REASON TO GO: Yuri Lemeshev, a Russian-American musician, rocks out on the accordion like you've never seen before.

CULTURE SHOCK: The bizarre comedic and dramatic performances by Valery, the former Cirque du Soleil performer/clown hailing from Las Vegas, are crowd-pleasers.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Perhaps more than one Russian beer option.

-- Chelsea Sanders


14. Scandinavian

Scandinavian Cultural Centre, 764 Erin St.

FOOD: Get there early to get the Swedish meatballs dinner platter (comes with potatoes, carrots and red cabbage) because it has been in short supply in previous years. There's also a Danish sausage dinner platter. Both are $10. The chicken and asparagus tartalette ($5) and herring sampler plate ($6) are also tasty. For dessert, there's rice pudding, strawberry rhubarb compote and strawberry custard tarts, all for a toonie.

DRINK: Channel your inner Erik the Red with Viking power, a drink featuring Scandinavian spirit Akvavit ($5). There is a fine selection of beers, too, with Denmark's Tuborg perhaps the best-known. There's also Faxe (Denmark) and Gull (Iceland). All beers are $5. Sk*l!

SHOW: The pavilion's theme is a Scandinavian cruise around the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark.) Cruise passengers will get a taste of the music and dancing of all five.

BEST REASON TO GO: Once you've had authentic Swedish meatballs, you'll stop eating whatever imposter your mother has been feeding you for years.

CULTURE SHOCK: Denmark, which is known for its chocolate, boasts the highest per capita consumption of candy in the world.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: It can be difficult to get a full appreciation of the culture, food and drink of five separate countries when they're all crammed into one pavilion. Expanding into a second pavilion may tax the local volunteer base.

-- Geoff Kirbyson


15. Serbian "Beograd"

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church 580 Talbot Ave.

FOOD: Try the cheese pita ($4), a delicious, flaky filo dough filled with a cottage cheese blend. You can't go wrong with cevapi ($1.50), a meat roll with pork and beef, or with sarma (cabbage rolls $4) while there's combo plates priced $9-$9.50 so you can try a few things at once.

DRINK: The show's hostess invited everyone to try sljivovica - a plum brandy that is the national drink of Serbia and is served in shots. It is part of most rites of passage such as births, baptisms, weddings, etc. She joked it will clear any cold germs and "you're good to go" after one!

SHOW: This show had it all -- dancers of all ages including adorable children and a flawless adult group with energetic performances. An engaging hostess guided guests in understanding the meaning and history behind each dance and, to the delight of the crowd, she interviewed a couple of the children onstage about their names, ages and how long they've been dancing.

BEST REASON TO GO: Situated in the basement of the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, this pavilion was fabulous. It is friendly, warm and inviting with a fun, family atmosphere, cosy seating and youngsters in Serbian dance costumes milling around to greet you, chat and help you find a seat. You feel like you've been invited into a Serbian home to share in a celebration.

CULTURE SHOCK: You are treated to a rare glimpse inside this regal and historic building. Tables set about where the pews usually are, with displays such as costumes, a map of the many Serbian monasteries and a slide show of the country's historic and cultural highlights. To top it off, guests can walk up the aisle inside a roped-off area toward a pulpit and view, from all angles, ornate paintings, stained glass and religious statues and symbols that usually only the church's congregation is able to see.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: None. Everything was excellent -- even the parking, as you are directed to an easily accessible grass lot at the corner of Talbot Avenue and Gateway Road.

-- Ashley Prest


16. South Sudanese

Sudanese Community Cultural & Resource Centre, 129 Dagmar St.

FOOD: The menu features items such as beef samosas ($2), tamiya (chickpea falafel, $1.50 for two) and maashi (beef and rice-stuffed peppers, $3.50), or for $8, try a combo platter with all three. You'll notice dill is a key flavour in many dishes. For dessert, there is the doughnut-like basta and the balasham, which are similar to baklava. Try a few of each with the dessert combo for $5.

DRINK: No special South Sudanese drinks are offered, but they do serve beer, wine, spirits, pop and coffee.

SHOW: The performance gives you a glimpse of the dancing and drumming talents of a number of the South Sudanese tribes, though there are 63 tribes altogether, so don't expect to see them all in one night! Do expect, however, to be impressed by these ladies' ability to pop their hips, enjoy their swishy, colourful grass skirts, and clap along with the bells, maracas and djembes all night!

BEST REASON TO GO: The excitement and camaraderie at the Sudanese Community Cultural & Resource Centre makes for a very welcoming and engaging experience.

CULTURE SHOCK: One of the tribes situated in the South Sudanese rainforest is a tribe of farmers and warriors -- in fact the tribe was featured on the show Deadliest Warrior. Often, spears were offered as dowries, but sometimes men couldn't afford a spear, in which case they would simply arrange to marry each other's sisters.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Some maps and reading material in the cultural display would help visitors who would like to get a better idea of the country and culture.

-- Larissa Peck


17. Tamil

Burton Cummings Community Centre, 960 Arlington St.

FOOD: Just a warning: There is a large, illuminated case full of breaded, samosa-style goodies at the Tamil Pavilion, which pretty much cries out, "eat me!" All of the menu items here are well-priced and delicious, though; the veggie and beef samosas are $2.50 and $3 each, veggie and meat rotis are $10 and veggie and meat combos are $11 and $12, respectively. Desserts available include wattalapam coconut pudding for $4, payasam sego pudding for $3 and a multitude of small candies and toffees in the market area.

DRINK: Mango and passion fruit juices are popular choices at $3, while Kingfisher beer from India is $5.50, and the only imported beer in stock. A slushie-mixed mango liqueur and vodka drink, the mango twist, is also available for $4.50.

SHOW: The Tamil performers are all youths with impressive rhythm and moves. The show rolls out a bevy of hopping dance numbers in short order, stopping only briefly for a sari demonstration. A shout-out to the young boy in the lime-green bandana who danced on tage with unapologetic zeal -- he definitely stole the show.

BEST REASON TO GO: The Tamil pavilion's ambassadors, performers and volunteers were very warm and attentive. Many of them stood outside welcoming and thanking guests as they came and went, while others attended to the display area, explaining all of the details of Tamil culture.

CULTURE SHOCK: A giant touch-screen map sits in the middle of the cultural display and its attendant points to where Tamil provinces lie, all in the vicinity of the Indian Ocean. Tamil is not a country, but a 5,000-year-old language spoken in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, among other countries.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The pavilion could use more exotic drink options, but its inviting atmosphere and entertaining show provide more than enough reasons to make the trek to Tamil.

-- Jessica Botelho-Urbanski


18. Ukraine-Kyiv

Garden City Collegiate, 711 Jefferson Ave.

FOOD: Enjoy a taste of everything with the mini-platter: perogies, cabbage rolls, garlic sausage with a dill pickle and rye bread for $5.75. Add a bowl of beet borsch for $3.

DRINK: If you like black licorice, you'll enjoy the hutsul hammer (sambuca, vodka and orange juice) for $4.50. If not, the Ukrainian martini, kalyna malyna (vodka + cran) for $4.50. Lvivske and Slavutych are available at $5.50 if beer is your drink of choice

SHOW: The show is different every night, from sword dancing by the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association from Thunder Bay, to the angelic vocal stylings of Natalka Rybak, all the way from Australia.

BEST REASON TO GO: World-class varenyky (perogies, 6 for $6) and holubtsi (cabbage rolls, 3 for $3) with all the sour cream your heart desires!

CULTURE SHOCK: During the course of the week, the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion will sell approximately 21,000 perogies! Ukrainians and Winnipeggers alike love their varenyky!

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: I wish there were an option to buy the food in bulk to take home.

-- Chelsea Sanders


19. Warsaw-Poland

Glenwood Community Centre, 27 Overton St.

FOOD: Be sure not to miss out on the amazing food at this pavilion. The Warsaw sampler ($11) is a great value and includes large portions of Polish pierogi, sausage, and hunter's stew, a traditional dish made with meat and cabbage. The Zagloba special ($9) will get you a generous helping of tender, marinated pork hock. There are also a wide assortment of tortes and cheesecake ($4.50) to satisfy your sweet tooth.

DRINK: Quench your thirst with several Polish beers ($6.25) and liquors ($4.50) available. Try the light pilsner beer, Tyskie, one of the country's favourites. The Zubròwka (Bison vodka) with apple juice is a refreshingly delicious cocktail that tastes just like a freshly baked apple pie.

SHOW: Dancers effortlessly weave around each other to traditional Polish music in front of a large, impressive castle backdrop. The cultural display will fill you in on Poland's rich history and traditions as well as the colourful, cultural attire from different regions of Poland.

BEST REASON TO GO: The hearty food will have your mouth watering and your stomach full. Do not leave without at least trying a sausage and several cheese and potato-filled pierogi.

CULTURE SHOCK: The male performers bring excitement to their dances by swinging long, thin axes called cuipaga (choo-pah-gah), commonly used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: I can see no room for improvement. This was a well-organized pavilion!

-- Eden Ramsay

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2014 C6

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  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- WINTER FILE. Snowboarder at Stony Mountain Ski Hill. November 14, 2006.
  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

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