Saturday, June 04, 2005

Islands' culture spices up Queen’s Park

bongo drummers
Originally uploaded by 416style.
We rolled up to Muhtadi’s International Drumming Festival in our sweet little cabriolet, parked on the grass and had a look around. Lots going on, lots of dreads, drumming and island food. Muggy Saturday afternoons are perfect for this kind of stuff. A big stage set up in front of the Queen’s Park parliament buildings got the most attention, but smaller more intimate drumming circles spread throughout the park. We didn’t play but kicked back at the beer tent instead, listening to the beats all around. Ah, but then the thought of food drew us away.

First, spicy corn-on-the-cob, Grandma’s secret recipe. The lime with butter was obvious, and gave me the idea to try something similar at home. Wendy couldn’t help going for some corn soup and then Caribbean jerk chicken, which pleased her, while I stuck to the vegetarian offerings and gave some Ethiopian cuisine a shot.

A few different options were laid out for me on a piece of injera, a flat moist bread used for wrapping around bite sized portions of food. Nice to be able to eat with my hands, and the spiced lentils, carrots and steamed swiss chard made my tummy feel good.

The main stage was switching scenes, from Japanese dancing fairy types to laid back Indian drummers and sitar players. Slow mellow ambient tunes began and then picked up some serious speed. It sounded great.

Muhtadi’s 3 day drumming festival (June 3 – 5) is in it’s 6th season. Queen’s Park was a great spot for it too. Hoped it might draw some of the politicians next door down for some much needed chill time, none came, but at least they were cool enough to let it happen in their big backyard, and spice it up a little.


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