Thursday, October 31, 2013

You're invited to Heritage Day

L'Arche is a worldwide community for people with and without disabilities, and every year at this time, our Edmonton community holds a fundraiser for L'Arche communities in South America and the Caribbean. Homes there are not supported with government funds and have a more difficult time making ends meet, so we have solidarity events, including a Bowl-a-thon that I've written about before, and Heritage Day, a fun evening in which we celebrate the cultural diversity of our community with food, music, skits, and a lot of laughter and fun.

The food is provided by our core members and assistants, who prepare individual servings of international dishes -- delicious little samplers of foods from the different countries of people in our community. People are also invited to dress in clothing from their countries of origin. Last year I walked into Heritage Day looking rather ordinary, lamenting that I was just a Canadian without any Russian-German gear from my ethnic background. My African sister, Alice, overheard me and hustled me out to her car, where she had several gorgeous outfits from which to choose! Alice and I are the same size, right down to our shoes, so I wore a beautifully embroidered dress and felt like the belle of the ball. Alice has since given me my very own African dress that I will be sure to wear this year.

The food and the clothing are amazing, and so is the entertainment. We always begin with a Solidarity Slide Show, giving us an idea of the lives of those in our L'Arche sister communities in South America and the Caribbean. Then the community is called upon to offer songs, skits or guessing games. Last year, some of our Korean assistants and some core members presented Gangnam Style, doing an amazing job of getting Psy's moves down, to the absolute delight of the audience. Believe it or not, the RCMP musical ride also made an appearance, and we were treated to a Ukrainian Wedding Dance. What I really love about Heritage Day (well, any L'Arche gathering, really) is having the opportunity to see almost everyone in the community all at once, and meeting their friends and family who join in the fun.

If you're able, please join us at Heritage Day. It will be held this Friday, November 1st at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (8410 89 Street) at 7 p.m, and I have it on good authority that Bollywood may make for some fun this year. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children under ten, with those under 5 free, and any extra donations to our Solidarity communities gratefully received at the door. We hope you can join us!

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On another note, Happy All Hallow's Eve! 

Last night, some special guests joined us in carving the seven pumpkins
Suzanna grew this summer. Appearing clockwise from the top right are
Bat Signal by Suzanna, Spooky Tree and Evil Eye by Julia,
Polka Dots (I'm still scraping bits of drilled pumpkin
off my back step, thank you my sisters!), 
Chicken Little by Jamie,
Jimmy Gourd the Veggie Tales Star by Christina, and Winky.

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