By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Living so close to the nation’s capital has some distinct advantages, one of them being the ability to meet people truly from all over the world. And there is no better time to do this than during the annual “Around the World Embassy Tour” (AWET). This festival, which happens each spring, is open to the public, highly educational and fun, and completely free. AWET happens this year on Saturday, May 4, 2019.
For the event, embassies will open their doors to Washington, DC, are visitors and residents for most of the day. Participants can “travel around the world” to see first-hand the art, music, dance culture, traditions, and even the food and fashion from dozens of countries. Each country hosts its own program so activities vary by embassy. Past events have included food tastings, karate exhibitions, concerts, art exhibits, dance performances, and even sari-wrapping lessons and henna demonstrations. Sponsors of the event include local businesses and art organizations and DC’s tourism office.
The Passport DC website has a detailed list of this year’s participating embassies, which include countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and more. As usual, the individual embassies use the occasion to highlight and educate about each country, its attractions, its famous “exports, and its culture. Some activities at this year’s AWET are:
- Trinidad & Tobago: Carnival-costumed dancers, a steelpan band, and culinary delights and sweets
- Argentina: Traditional food, such as empanadas and dulce de leche, plus tango performances and photos with Argentinian polo players and horses
- Korea: Traditional percussion, vocal, dance, and folk music performances, plus calligraphy demonstrations and Korean writing activities, and more
- Morocco: Crafts, henna body art, and traditional Moroccan food, tea, and dishes served during Ramadan
You can see a detailed list online of what each embassy plans to offer on the Passport DC event site, which also has useful tips for parking and and a mobile site for updates. Admission is free and most embassies are open 10 am to 4 pm; parking is very limited but many embassies are within walking distance of the Dupont Circle and Van Ness/UDC Metrorail stations.
AWET is a great opportunity to learn more about the world and the people in it, and to expose your children to rich cultural traditions. But if you can’t make this event, don’t worry: also coming up are the similar European Union Open House on May 11, 2019, and Fiesta Asia on May 18, 2019.