For the first time ever there will be a Reyog Ponorogo Parade in the Netherlands. This traditional Indonesian parade portrays the manifestation of love with a spiritual lining. The parade is being presented by the Embassy of Indonesia, who have flown in 25 artists all the way from East Java, especially for this performance. Expect loud drums, traditional clothing, including a Barongan – a gigantic mask of a lion’s head with peacock feathers that weighs no less than 50 kilo’s – and a lot of dance. During the Embassy Festival you’ll also have the opportunity to see what’s involved when it comes to a Bengali wedding. In Bangladesh marriage stands for more than just the love between two people. It stands for a lifelong friendship between two families. What does this tradition entail? You’ll find out at the Embassy Festival, a cultural world-trip that takes place on Saturday 7 September at the Lange Voorhout in The Hague. On Friday evening 6 September a delightful opening night will commence in a more intimate setting.
You could call the Embassy Festival the most colourful festival in the Netherlands. Maybe even in the world. Why? Not just because of the vast diversity of people visiting the festival, but also because of the many different countries that proudly present their cultural heritage. By wearing and showing traditional clothing for example. Bright colours and loud prints take the lead in this. This year two fashion shows will take place, with traditional clothing from Pakistan and Tanzania. The Embassy Festival also stands for dance and music. Fundación Xochiquetzal is a good example of this, presented by Mexico. This traditional dance can be enjoyed while you sip a Margarita or when you’re eating a Street Style Taco with Guacamole, perhaps. And that’s not all, because one of the most popular music movements from Morocco: Gwana, can take any festivity to the next level, so naturally, it had to be arranged for the Embassy Festival. Maâlem Reda Stitou combines the traditional Gnawa sounds with world music and western elements. With nearly 70 different participating countries, more than 45 performances on four stages, a Kids Compound and an International Market, it’ll be a wildly entertaining weekend at the Lange Voorhout.
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FANCY SOME KHACHAPURI, KÜRBISKERNÖL, COZONACI OR MANDAZI?
You won’t find tasteless burgers with seaweed buns and a dash of some bland sauce at the Embassy Festival. When strolling through the International Market, which takes place on the 7th of September, you will find traditional food and drinks from all corners of the world. Give your taste buds the royal treatment with dishes such as Pão de Queijo (Brasil), Mandazi (Kenia), Placinte (Romania), Nasi Lemak (Malaysia), Cozonaci (Romania), Biko (Philippines), Dolma (Azerbaijan), Banh m (Vietnam), Sirnica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Khachapuri (Georgia) and Kürbiskernöl (Austria). And don’t be surprised if you see an Ambassador rolling up his or her sleeves, putting on an apron and getting involved. The Embassy Festival is full of these kind of spontaneous moments and fantastic surprises. At the International Market there are an enormous amount of (food) demonstrations, small acoustic performances and a several other activities that allow visitors to know more about the countries present.
The seventh edition of the Embassy Festival offers visitors an insight into the cultural richness of the participating countries. It stimulates people to meet one another, to broaden their horizon and to gain an insight into other cultures. The kick-off of the festival will take place on Friday 6 September at 5pm with a diverse programme including Paul Beaubrun (HTI), Son de Aqui (MEX), Gita Buhara (GHA), London Afrobeat Collective (GBR) and True Vibenation (AUS). The festival will commence in its entirety on Saturday 7 September at noon with four stages, the Kids Compound, a movie pavilion and the International market. At the CONTEMPORARY STAGE. Visitors will find a broad International variety of pop and world music with the Reyog Ponorogo (IDN), Grapell (SWE), Lady Bazaar (CHE), Boom Pam (ISR), Maâlam Reda Stitou (MAR), La Chiva Gantiva (COL) and Harmony Glen (IRL). Taking to the CLASSICAL STAGE will be Lorraine Balen Tatto (BRA), Elena Bazhenov (RUS), JET SET! Classical Glitterati (EU), Kristin Mulders (NOR), Faraj Suleiman (PSE), Anna Smith (AUS) and Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble (TUR). At the Creative Arena and Container Stage there will be a broad selection of dance, music and theatre performances from all corners of the world. #EUandME will present a selection of short films in the Virtual Reality Cinema, maybe by young talent from Europe, about important European themes. Our youngest visitors will have a field-day with all the fun and exciting activities at the KIDS COMPOUND.
FACTS & FIGURES
Last year, the Embassy Festival attracted more than 60.000 visitors. The festival brings together the richness of nearly seventy participating countries and seduces its visitors to meet with each other, to step outside the familiar and to indulge themselves in sea of culture. In The Hague – City of Peace and Justice, The Embassy Festival proves that culture creates unity and causes amazement. This year’s participating countries are: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Ireland, India, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.
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Quote Rawan Sulaiman – Head of Mission State of Palestine: “The Embassy festival brings together people from across the world to showcase their culture, food, music, and dance. For me, participating in the festival is a great opportunity to share with people from all over the world a taste of Palestine. It is heart-warming to see people learning about and experiencing
other cultures by exploring the lovely colours, rich flavours and traditional customs of different countries. The Embassy festival is a brilliant mean to celebrate diversity, difference and tolerance in The Hague, the city of justice and peace.”
Quote visitors Lindsay: “What I love seeing at the Embassy Festival is the diversity of its visitors. There are so many encounters that happen out of the curiosity they have for each other. All these cultures are brought together, and it works like a charm. It shows unity and that’s a very special thing to witness.”
FRIDAY 6 SEPTEMBER | 17.00 – 23.30: world music, dance on two stages | Bites & Drinks
SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER | 12.00 – 20.00: International Market, Classical Stage, Contemporary Stage, Container Stage, Creative Arena, Kids Compound | Bites & Drinks
DAYS UNTIL EMBASSY FESTIVAL: