Germany and the Philippines might not seem to have much in common, but the proximity of their two pavilions made it convenient to visit both at this year’s Folklorama festival. Although little might seem to connect the two countries, their cultures as presented at Folklorama showed that they might have more in common than people might think.
Celebration was a central theme in both pavilions, from the demonstration of proper toast-giving at the German venue to dances depicting various communities in the Philippines. While the drum beats of the Philippines had little resemblance to the German band featuring accordions and other instruments, the sense of celebration was similar.
Dancing was a major feature at both events, presenting a celebration of daily life for both children and adults. The German pavilion also included a pair of elderly yodelers, as well as a small choir of seniors singing songs typical of their country, which helped to make the program interesting and unique.
Food at the German pavilion was very good, and the venue was comfortable and well organized. Visitors began their journey in a tent where musicians serenaded them as they waited to enter the building before finding a place to sit or to line up for a meal of traditional German foods such as Wiener schnitzel, Bratwurst, or Rouladen.
The venue for the Philippine pavilion was not as well chosen, with the tour groups and VIPs filling most of the theatre-style seats while the remaining guests had a limited view of the stage from farther back in the room. Many of these guests were forced either to find gaps between the heads of the people in front of them or watch the show on a nearby screen.
Despite some problems, both the German and Philippine pavilions were engaging and gave audience members insights into the two cultures and the people from these regions. Visitors to these events could feel satisfied that they had learned something useful.