Monday, May 4, 2009

Embassies & Faith

Saturday was a dull cloudy day with threats of continual showers so not one to spend outside. I went with a friend down to D.C. where some of the embassies were opening their doors for visitors.

We were greeted at the Bangladesh doors by the Ambassador himself and inside was a riot of color infused with enticing smells of cooking. This was my favorite of all the embassies as it was like stepping into Bangladesh itself with the staff all wearing their traditional dress and many images and a video of their country.

We were invited to have our hands tattooed with henna and my paw is displayed above. The paste took nearly an hour to dry brushing off to reveal a pale orange tattoo on the skin which darkened considerably by the next day. I wasn't aware at the time that this would now be part of me for the next 30-45 days. Oh well...

I would have loved to go inside these two buildings but they were closed to the public unfortunately.

This beautiful tapestry hung inside the Nigerian Embassy. Many of the buildings we entered had interesting furniture brought from their homelands. We were only allowed into small areas of each embassy and all of them cooked food, handed out brochures or put up displays or showed short videos to entice visitors within their borders.

Many of the public were proudly wearing their country's traditional outfits and adding beautiful bright jewelry or scarves to their wardrobes which was being sold by surrounding stalls. This little girl looked really cute in her outfit.

The Malaysian embassy put on some traditional dance routines throughout the day and even taught the public some steps. All the embassies we visited were in the International Drive area and afterwards we drove to the Massachusetts Avenue area to see some more but these were extremely busy with queues outside that would be waiting more than an hour to enter the buildings. We decided not to join the lines and headed back to Virginia where we went to the National Memorial Park for a look round.

I was amazed to see this sculpture collection in an empty pool. It seemed surreal to see so many strange statues jumbled together that were obviously supposed to be standing in water.
This collection is called the Fountain of Faith by the Swedish sculptor Carl Miles showing 38 figures of men, women and children in various postures of departure and ascension.

This is an intriguing display and one I'd like to see again when they fill the pool and turn on the fountains. They seemed a little eerie and vulnerable suspended above the cold concrete.
I was glad to be home early and after rushing round completing chores, I went to bed early as I had an early start on Sunday.

1 comment:

Heideldy Deideldy said...

That would be sooo cool to see the different embassies!