Culturama 2024 day two was another hit for guests who were looking for a taste of Mexico without needing a passport or sunscreen.
The Pat Porter Active Living centre auditorium was filled to near capacity and folks were not disappointed. Cristina Dubon, originally from Mexico gave the welcome and shared some fun-facts about her home-country. Then came the much-awaited Tacos and evening entertainment.
The group of dancers from Cancun, Mexico brought their traditional song and dance, sombreros and colorful flowing skirts with a performance everyone enjoyed.
Tonight is Menno-night. An evening where guests will learn about the Mennonite culture in food and cultural displays.
Robert Goertzen from the MHV in Steinbach says, “Together with the Pat Porter Active Living Centre and Eastman Immigrant Services we decided that you know what, we should feature the Mennonite culture. Now, of course, there's a huge question mark there. What is Mennonite culture? Mennonites live all over the world. But, as a museum, we tell is the story of those early settlers who came in the 1870s. And what they were all about and the things they endured and the things that were important to them. And so, that's the story that we'll be sharing. You know, just a little bit of that at Culturama.”
Goertzen says guests will be able to sample various Mennonite dishes.“There will be cabbage borscht, and cottage cheese perogies with Shmauntfat (cream gravy), and Schnetjke (biscuit) with jam and whatever else the Pat Porter staff and volunteers are serving.”
Goertzen notes that while the previous evenings highlighting Ukraine and Mexico brought song and dance, their evening will be a bit different. "We've got a display table along with some books that tell the story of early Steinbach history, and early East Reserve history. Neta Wiebe our storekeeper, will be on hand to answer questions and to give some context. Then we're also going to be showing a part of a video that tells the story of the beginnings of Steinbach.”
Goertzen says they will have a guest author reading from his books. “Andrew Unger will be sharing some stories as well. Perhaps his own written stories or from his own family history, but it should be very entertaining and interesting.”
Goertzen welcomes anyone curious about Mennonite history and culture to attend the event. "We get questions all the time at the museum. Who are these Mennonites? Are you a horse and buggy culture? What is it that you represent? So, it's always great to share that and it's also meaningful to be able to recall what it is that we are, the story we are telling. And so, we're always happy to share what we know and point people in the direction of people who know more.”
Culturama is not just an event featuring the many cultures represented in the region, it's also a collaboration between two organizations. The Pat Porter Active Living Centre and Eastman Immigrant Services. For tickets call the Centre at 204-320-4600 or stop by to pick yours up. #10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach.
Doors open each evening at 5:30pm with performance and food served at 6pm. Limited seating each evening.
Wednesday night features the Mennonite culture, Thursday evening will feature the Filipino culture and Friday night, India. Everyone welcome.
Photos in the gallery below are courtesy of Wren Dunham/ Pat Porter Active Living Centre.