Have you ever seen a dancer execute an elegant turn while balancing a candelabra on her head? Or keep a ceramic plate safe in the palm of his hand while he spins it at a speed of a tornado? Have you ever seen a rainbow move to the sound of trumpets?
You haven’t? Well, too bad! Had you come to the Opening Ceremony of ICDO’s The Long Nights of Interculturality, you would have seen all this – and more! Performers from more than 30 countries came to show off their beautiful traditions in what turned out to be an afternoon filled with music, color and celebration.
The Long Nights of Interculturality – a week-long event showcasing this city’s diversity – kicked off on September 1 at the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus). Many prominent guests were in attendance: H.E. Maria Cleofe R. Natividad, Consul Mr. Bolivar L. Bao, Vice Consul Ms. Andrea Lazaro and Cultural Officer Ms. Ayesha Yap Bahjin from the Embassy of the Philippines, H.E. Lourdes G. A. Victoria – Kruse from the Embassy of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Amr Ibrahim Abdelrahman Elatraby with spouse from the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H. E. Djumala Darmansjah with spouse, Mr. Ida Bagus Rai Mantra, Mayor of Denpasar,
Minister Counsellor Mrs. Palupi Sukiyantini Mustajab, and Third Secretary Mr. Rahmut Kurniawan from the Embassy of Indonesia, Mr. Rachid Bouziya and guest from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Marocco, Second Secretary Ms. Kate Oliver from the Embassy of Ireland, Ms. Jenny Bartsch and guest from the Embassy of the Republic of Peru, representatives from the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Cultural Attaché Ms. Rosa Maria Castro Valle from the Embassy of Mexico, Counselor Mr. Faho Sanibe from the Embassy of Burkina Faso, First Secretary Mr. Aniket G. Mandavgane from the Embassy of India, Ms. Leyla Gasimova, Director of the Azerbaijan Cultural Center, and Mr. Hassan Asbarov from the Embassy of Azerbaijan, and Mr. Halil Ibrahim Dogan and guest from the Yunus Emre Institute.
“We are here to connect all people from all around the world and to celebrate differences in Vienna,” Josipa Palac, ICDO’s President and the mastermind behind the event, said. Nestled in the heart of Europe, Vienna has always been a home to different peoples – a meeting point between East and West and a melting pot of cultures – and as such, a fitting place for this particular party.
And what a party it was! The Vienna City Hall provided a spectacular backdrop to the energetic and kaleidoscopic performances of numerous Vienna-based cultural organizations, excited to have this beautiful venue to showcase their traditional costumes and dances.
“Every country has its culture and we should make an effort to experience that because we all live in this beautiful city. It is important that we get to know each other and accept each other,” one of the participants from Mexico said speaking to W24 television station. She was not only thrilled to don her city’s (Jalisco) typical attire and perform for the audience, but also enjoy other countries’ presentations as well.
“We love music and we love life – and that is something that connects all of us,” she said. ICDO’s The Long Nights of Interculturality Opening Ceremony celebrated with fanfare that very human connection.
ICDO would like to thank the following performers for making this evening truly unforgettable:
VIC Group of Polynesian Friends (Polynesia)
MAMADOU DIABATE”S PERCUSSION MANIA (Burkina Faso)
Saidi & Shamadan (Egypt)
Tari Joged & Tari Piring (Indonesia)
Nartakah Dancing Academy (Sri Lanka)
VIC Club Filipino (Philippines)
Nong Mai Muang Surin Thailand (Thailand)
Mohiniyattam & Rajasthani Dance (India)
Shivanata Dance Group (Indonesia)
Azerbaijan State National Dance Ensamble (Azerbaijan)
Tang Bulbulu, Koyron Kyou & Mash Botoy (Kyrgyzstan (KultEurAsia))
KUD Sokadia, Slavonian Folk Chants (Croatia)
FS Marjánka ( Czech Republic & Slovakia)
Irish Fire (Ireland)