There are two Latin American festivals going on – can you guess where they are? Neither of these festivals are located in Latin America, or even in the United States. Do you give up? The first festival is in its fourth year and takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; the second festival is in its sixth year and is happening right now in Seoul, South Korea.
The sights, sounds and smells of countries from all over Latin America filled Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Bintang Park last Sunday. Visitors to the event were treated to booths selling foods and handicrafts from Latin America as well as performances which included everything from capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, to the tango and other dances. Organized by Latin American Embassies in Malaysia, the event provided representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, who worked in collaboration with the Latin American Ladies Association.
Latin America is a continent with a very ancient history, [and it] possesses one of the most dynamic, varied and colorful cultures in the world
- Venezuelan Ambassador Manuel Antonio Guzman Hernandez
Venezuelan Ambassador Manuel Antonio Guzman Hernandez opened the one-day event saying, "Latin America is a continent with a very ancient history, [and it] possesses one of the most dynamic, varied and colorful cultures in the world."
The second event going on in Seoul, South Korea is called the 2012 Latin American Cultural Festival and features multiple photo and art exhibitions, musical performances and lectures which started May 26th and go until June 9th. This year's program is under the slogan, "Latin fever, meets Korea," and is intended to be a cross-cultural exchange celebrating the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Korea and Latin America.
Tracy López is a bilingual writer living outside the Washington DC metro area. She is the founder of Latinaish.com.