In its eleventh year, the Toowoomba Languages & Cultures Festival promotes a variety of cultures living together in harmony and their logo is 'One World Many Faces'. International food, market stalls, live music, dance performances, health and wellness expo and schools among other attractions, this year featured Pacifika Toowoomba. Three performance stages were named Peace, Harmony & Good Will.
Live music and dance in traditional costume filled the festival with a happy atmosphere from acts like Islanders singing gospel, Highland dancing by children, Papua New Guinea dancers with graceful hands, Bollywood musicians Drum Dance and belly dancers with sounds from Egypt, Turkey and Morocco, a Fijian choir and Maoris performing the Haka.
Multicultural stalls were attended by the thousands of visitors from many ethnic backgrounds. Lots of yummies were available including German beef burgers, Philippino food, twisted potatoes, Poffertjes, churros, Hungarian Langos, Russian coconut ice, Indian Delights, Bonjour Boulangerie French breads and pastries. Clothing, jewellery, leather goods, Aboriginal art, Fiji raffia and masks, Chinese friendship knots and heaps more stalls. For families there was a petting zoo with alpacas, lambs, ducks. Big queues were attracted to the inflatable slides and jumping castle, face painting, a reptile display, children's' language activities, dress ups, camel rides and international board games.
The petting zoo.
In the exhibition hall were Pacifika Toowoomba and 7 Nations. Around the grounds were martial arts demos and a tug of war by a Malayali group. Marquees were full of information and free samples related to health and religion. Displays included Esperanto, Powerful Tools for Life (self healing tools), Pure Land Learning College, the Empire Theatre, the Anglican Church, the Multifaith Centre, Seventh Day Adventists, Arrowsmith Program a cognitive program for students with learning disabilities, Medisonship bringing hope to people of the Solomon Islands, Youth Carers Support Program, the Peace Education Program. Amnesty international, student exchange with WEP, Nutrivore diet and nutrition. The local Salt Caves products for sale, salt soap which removes toxins, exfoliates and firms skin. The caves are good for breathing complaints. The Women in Harmony Choir attracted the crowd with singing that lifted the spirits.
Local celeb Elaine Coates directing the Women in Harmony choir.
Lots of giveaways such as Bible Compass' beautiful plaques and Christian books, Darling Downs Christian School (nurturing the whole child) gave out sample bags with sun visors, drink bottles, pens and leaflets. Free samples of essential oils from doTERRA Essential Oils - one drop of peppermint is more powerful than many cups of peppermint tea. Free hugs may even be found as I got two from Patsy and Oscar at Mannatech Champions. No purchase was necessary. I received a free sachet from the Uth Skincare System range, provided I let them phone me with how it affected me later on (amazingly well). Nutritional supplement shakes are their specialty.
One thing that surprisingly worked in harmony was navigating a route through the well-mannered crowds. So much you could get involved with, is it possible you can learn too much, eat too much and see too much? Look out for next year's event on the website.
Salt Caves sales rep in Tibetan yak hair shawl, extremely warm and soft knit.