Week13 – Festival of Cultures


26th March – 1st April ’11

I’ve cheated a teeny bit this week.  The first part of the blog is about an event that took place on Friday – so technically it’s part of last week. But Week12 already has two parts, making a third seemed a little over the top.  And the Lantern Parade really needs to be in the same post as the Fair, they’re both part of the Festival of Cultures.

All of the shots in this post were taken with my nifty-fifty. To avoid endless repitition I haven’t included focal length in the EXIF of the following photos.

To see all my shots from the Parade and the Festival, please go to Valley Photography

Community Cultural Lantern Parade

Friday evening turned out to be a perfect for the Parade.  The forecast rain held off, it was mild and there was no wind.  Hundreds of people gathered around the clock tower to enjoy the show.

The Clock Tower - Palmerston North Square

Exif
Aperture    f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed         ISO400
 

While I like the composition of the shot, I’m not too happy with the technical aspects.  The clock face and tower are sharp, but the statue is rather soft.  I guess this is due to a combination of wide aperture/narrow DOF and the low light.  Lesson learned.

The Parade around the Square was lead by the Rabbit (it being the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar)The Tiger from last year followed, and then the lanterns made at various workshops by members of the community.

Rabbit Lantern - accompanied by Carrot Lantern

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Aperture              f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400

Tiger Lantern - 2010 Year of the Tiger

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Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400
 
 
 
 

Bunny Lantern

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Aperture         f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed      ISO400
 

Community Lanterns

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Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed           ISO400
 
 

The Parade was joined by the Massey University Fire Club.  This is a group of Massey students who get together once a week to practice fire spinning, breathing and eating.  They wowed the crowed with their tricks.

Fire Spinner

Exif
Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed     1/160sec
ISO Speed              ISO640

Fire Eater

Exif
Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed    1/160sec
ISO Speed              ISO640

Fire Breathing

Exif
Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed     1/200sec
ISO Speed             ISO800
 

I learned from photography these guys that it’s very hard to get the camera to auto-focus on a moving target in the dark.

 
 
 
 

Playing with Fire

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Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed     1/200sec
ISO Speed              ISO800
 

World Food Craft and Music Fair

The weather was not so kind on Saturday.  We made the trip in to town to do a little shopping, and decided to check out the Fair in the rain.  A whole lot of other people had also braved the weather.  The fabulous food on offer seems to be a big draw card.

Sampling the Fare

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Aperture              f/4
Shutter Speed   1/200sec
ISO Speed            ISO200

The multi-cultural-ness (yep, I’m making up words again) of our city is something I’ve always enjoyed.  People from all around the world, for various reasons, make their homes here.  They live, work and study in our city, and for the most part are well integrated in the community.  But they also retain a pride in their native cultures, and it is this pride and eagerness to share it with us ‘locals’ that makes the Festival of Cultures such a success year after year.

We walked around in the rain, enjoying the music, the crafts, and all the wonderful smells wafting from the food stalls.

It rained - and we all got wet

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Aperture              f/4
Shutter Speed   1/200sec
ISO Speed            ISO200

An International Flavour

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Aperture              f/4
Shutter Speed    1/200sec
ISO Speed            ISO200

Exif
Aperture               f/4
Shutter Speed     1/200sec
ISO Speed             ISO200
 
 

The kidlets tried some beehive snacks, a traditional Chinese New Year treat, and declared them delicious.  We were welcomed in to the Omani tent by a delightful young man.

Young man from Oman

Exif
Aperture             f/3.5
Shutter Speed  1/200
ISO Speed          ISO200
 

This is my favourite shot from the whole day.  Probably because he was looking right at me, and obviously happy to be photographed.  I’ve had to up the exposure in post, because we were in the tent and I hadn’t adjusted my settings correctly after coming in from the brighter light out side.

He explained to us a little of the culture of Oman,  including a sample of the traditional rose water perfume – smells like Turkish Delight.  We were offered a taste of a sweet dessert treat.  I don’t know what it was called, or what it was made of – a completely different flavour to any thing I’ve eaten before.  The Lovely Man and I also tried the coffee.  Black, no sugar.  Not they way I usually have my coffee, but delicious all the same.  Another young man showed the kidlets how “Jake” is written Arabic.  The paper is now hanging  with pride on Jake’s bedroom wall.

Jake in Arabic – Read from right to left.

At this point we had to leave in order to get Billy the Kid to a birthday party. But…

The Shaved Ice Man - $3 a scoop

Exif
Aperture              f/4
Shutter Speed   1/200sec
ISO Speed            ISO200
 
 

We’d enjoyed ourselves so much in the morning, that when the weather cleared in the afternoon we decided to drive back in to town for another look.

A Swiss Chalet

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Aperture                f/4
Shutter Speed     1/200sec
ISO Speed             ISO200

Russian ladies

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Aperture                 f/4
Shutter Speed     1/200sec
ISO Speed              ISO200

This time a gentleman from Iran invited us in to the tent of his country. He took time to explain about the extremely long history of his country – Persia, as it used to be called.  He told us about the landscape – a lot of forest and farm land, not all desert as we might imagine.  And about the pistachio nuts and dates that his country is famous for producing – tonnes and tonnes each year.  He also explained that over 60% of the medical students in Iran are women, but that there are not enough women in politics.  I think he was trying to convince Cat and I that Iran is a modern, enlightened country.  Which it may well be.  Then he introduced us to an artist who had traveled all the way from Iran with her beautiful paintings to be a the Festival.  And he gave us each a sample of the aforementioned pistachios. Yum!

After thanking the Iranian gentleman for his hospitality we moved on and sampled some of the other wonderful fare on offer.  Gorgeous steamed pork dumplings, and skewers of grilled chicken and capsicums with a spicy coating.  More yum!

This adorable little tot was taking in all the sights with huge eyes and serious face.  How cute is that outfit?  Her dad was having a good time, too.

A tot in national costume

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Aperture               f/5
Shutter Speed    1/250sec
ISO Speed             ISO200

Having eaten our fill  we went to watch the action on the stage.

Thai Dancer

Exif
Aperture                f/5
Shutter Speed     1/250sec
ISO Speed              ISO200

The guys from the Saudi Student Association were a huge hit, with lots of supporters in the crowd.

Warming up the crowd - Saudi students

Getting your groove on - Saudi students

Exif
Aperture                 f/5.6
Shutter Speed      1/250sec
ISO Speed               ISO200

Gallery

I had to do a spot of people watching, couldn’t resist.

 
 
 
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2 responses to “Week13 – Festival of Cultures

  1. Pingback: ***Assignment: "The Marketplace" March 16 - 30 - Page 14

  2. Pingback: Festival of Cultures

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