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festival of cultures

If you can’t travel the world, the next best thing is to have the world come to you and that was definitely the case last weekend at the Skokie Festival of Cultures. The festival has been an annual event since 1991 and this year more than 36 countries were represented either in the form of entertainment or at one of the booths in the grounds of the Oakton Community Center which is part of Skokie’s park district.

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All kinds of crafts, costumes and travel-related items were on display including this Balinese ceremonial umbrella outside the Indonesia tent.

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Throughout the day there was a constant stream of international entertainment both on the outdoor stage (thankfully the weather was lovely) and inside the park building. These delightful ladies were with the Hawaiian Na Kupuna Ukulele Club.

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Everyone was very gracious in allowing me to take pictures and the atmosphere at the festival was friendly and relaxed which made things easy for me as I’ve always felt rather uncomfortable approaching people for the purposes of photographing them. The happy trio shown below are members of the Hamazkayin Armenian Sardarabad Dance Group.

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I wished I’d had more time to devote to the festival but having made a mad dash from an unscheduled visit to the Lombard Lilac Festival, back home to mow the lawn, and then on to Skokie, things were a bit hectic. I did, however, manage to catch the Evanston Scottish Country Dancers.

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As it was, I was moving back and forth between the two stages trying to see as much as possible before I had to return home to make dinner. These two lovely young ladies were with the Jasmin Jahal Dance Company.

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And finally, just before I left the park, I was able to gather together an obliging group of Korean performers for a quick photo. Next year I’ll try to set aside the entire weekend (weather permitting) so I can take in more of the Skokie Festival of Cultures. Definitely an event to look forward to.

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