Day 4 of Culturama 2024 did not disappoint. Celebrating the culture of the Filipino community in our region.

South Eastman Filipino Association (SEMFA) Past President Greg Carlos and Jean Lanzuela, Vice President of SEMFA, were co-emcee's for the evening.

There was traditional music from the Philippines, a dancer and lessons on the Filipino language, as the guest learned how to say, “How are you” and “Thank you” in Tagalog. And of course, everyone enjoyed the delicious sampling of pancit, a traditional noodle dish of the Filipino community.

(See photos of Thursday night's event in the gallery below)

Members of the Filipino community join Gwen Reimer, E.I.S. and Audrey Harder, Pat Porter for a group photo before the event.Group photo before the Filipino night at Culturama 2024 (from left to right) Joanna Bersamina - president of the South EastMan Filipino Association, Gwen Reimer - Eastman Immigrant Services, Audrey Harder - Executive Director at Pat Porter Active Living Centre, Greg Carlos - past-president of SEMFA, Jean Lanzuela - Vice President of SEMFA, and Ritu Kumar from E.I.S.

Pat Porter Active Living Centre, Program Director, Carla Walker says of this year's cultural event. “It's been an incredible week. It's been exciting, and we've had so many people come and join us throughout the week and the beautiful people that have come and shared their culture with us, have done an amazing job doing exactly that and we've had a good time.” 

Walker says, each night this week, the Pat Porter together with Eastman Immigrant Services (E.I.S.) have highlighted a different culture represented in our community.

“So, Monday night we celebrated the Ukraine. Tuesday, we celebrated Mexico. Wednesday evening, we celebrated the Mennonite culture. And Thursday we celebrated Filipino culture, and at the grand finale tonight, we celebrate India. Yeah, it'll be a lot of fun.” 

Ritu Kumar is the Volunteer and Integration Coordinator at E.I.S.

"India's diversity is truly remarkable. It is a melting pot of different cultures, language, religion and tradition. With over one 1.3 million people, India is the 7th largest country in the world. India is the home of a vast number of ethnic groups, each with their own distinct costumes and practices. People from various religions, some as such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism coexisting harmoniously. The diversity celebrated through the festival, food, music, art and making India a vibrant and a culturally rich nation, that's all about India.” 

Kumar says, she loves living in Canada where she gets to talk about her home country, India. "It's good to talk about India to people who are new immigrants from all over the world, and I think that Culturama is creating a platform for all our immigrants to learn more about each other. Like the culture of Ukraine, Mexico, the Mennonite culture, which was, I think, the most important to know about, because you know, when you come into Steinbach, you just hear that this is a Mennonite city.”

That said, Kumar says that she feels quite at home here. “You know, this is what we I've heard that Canada is, it’s a firm believer in promoting people from different countries. They really appreciate the culture, and everybody's welcomed here."

"So, let’s hope everything goes well tonight.”

The Pat Porter Active Living Centre doors open at 5:30pm, with entertainment beginning at 6pm. Visitors will need a ticket to enter the event, call the Centre 204-320-4600 or stop by the Centre to pick yours up before they are sold out. 

Culturama India poster

Photos in the gallery below are courtesy of Wren Dunham/Pat Porter Active Living Centre and Kris Ontong Eastern Region Immigration Partnership