03 August 2014

14th All Nations Festival in Berlin

Last June 28, the 14th All Nations Festival was held here in Berlin. I have participated in this event last year, so I already know the drill. This time, we visited 7 different embassies, and again, we tried various different food items while we were there. This time, there were only 12 embassies that were open, but we still filled an afternoon with various interesting events.

First, we visited the Embassy of Jamaica. We arrived there around 14:00, and when we got there, there was pretty much a party going on. They had these ladies dressed in colonial-looking attire, complete with white blouse and flowery long skirts, and they would go and try to clear this stick that was placed low on the ground. We also tried street food, including fried plantains, as well as dumplings, dipped in jerk sauce. And as we were leaving, they were starting a beer drinking competition.

Next, we took the buss and went to Potsdamer Platz, where the Korean Cultural Centre was located. This is the cultural section of the Korean Embassy, and here, they were featuring several different activities. We watched a demonstration on print-making, and we attended a small concert featuring Korean instruments. They were also serving food, but since Korean food for me is very accessible, I didn't opt to try the bulgogi and the kimbaps and the kimchee that they were serving.

After that, we headed next door to the Embassy of South Sudan. This was interesting; even though they didn't have plenty of exhibits, they had a video room, and they really opened everything. I was even allowed to see the office of the Ambassador, and they had very fancy furniture. I also had a little chat with a South Sudanese official about languages in South Sudan. So even though there wasn't a lot to see, I still learned something here.

Then we rode the bus again and headed to the Chinese Cultural Center, which is of course affiliated with the Chinese Embassy in Berlin. Here we discovered very tasty soup dumplings, also known as xiaolongbao. We liked it very much that we ordered another one. We also tried tea eggs, which were very tasty even though they didn't look very appetizing.

After that, we crossed the street and headed to the Embassy of Malaysia. They had a food stall as well, so we checked it out. We sampled some sesame balls filled with red bean paste. It tasted Chinese to me, but then again, I haven't been to Malaysia before, and therefore I don't really have a good feel with respect to this cuisine.

Then, we took a little walk, and a block away we visited the Embassy of Bolivia. Unfortunately, they only had a little exhibit going on, but their textiles and scenery were amazing. No food there, however. Bolivia is one of the countries that I would love to visit, and therefore it was very appetizing to see the natural scenery that is found in that country.

Finally, our last stop was a little bit farther away. We took two buses to head to Charlottenburg, because this was where the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan was located. Oh, they had a travel video that was playing, and the scenery was just amazing. It was amazing enough that we decided that Kyrgyzstan might be our next destination. Who knows, that actually sounds like a good idea, so let me sit on that thought for a bit. They also had some exhibits on their people and culture, and I just loved the textile designs that are a feature of pretty much every Kyrgyz picture I see.

After that, we headed home. Seven embassies in one afternoon, and that was a very enjoyable day. I definitely got some ideas on which countries I would want to visit next!


  1. Malaysian food is a blend of Indian food and Chinese food (at least to me, that's what I noticed when we visited). Some dish are typically Malaysian (nasi goreng, nasi lemak come to mind) but other stuff are just typically mainland Chinese (it's probably the same for Indian food but since I have never been to India, I can't be sure).

    Such a cool event, I wish we had it in Ottawa!

    1. Zhu,

      It was definitely a cool event; I participated in it last year as well as this year. It gives me travel ideas, after all!