Different Cultures, From a Local’s Perspective

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Office space and tents took over downtown Vancouver, putting the best of a given country on display for the world to see. Over the past week or so, I’ve visited many of these different pavilions (note: please see previous post about Four Host First Nations Pavilion) and just wanted to give you an overview of the best, the worst, and the strangest sign I saw. These pavilions are mainly for natives of the country to go, but also showcase attractions for tourists.

Saxony House

This German pavilion was the first one I went to. The part of their culture they chose to highlight was food and beverage. When the pavilion opened up at noon on a Monday, most people made a beeline for the bar, to test of the best of Bavarian beer. If sausage and schnitzel are your thing… this was the place to be. At night it turned into a disco complete with laser lights and techno music.

Northern House

Canada’s Northern Pavilion was spectacular. It did an excellent job showcasing life in Northern Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). They covered the wonders of the wilderness, the arts culture, and even the growing importance of diamond mining. Aboriginal art was on display and I was so impressed at the beautiful creations the artists made… jewelers, beading experts and sewers.

Sochi House

Russia is the site of the next winter games, and the Russians did a great job of drumming up excitement for four years from now. The various displays were interesting and covered a lot of topics. The only problem was that they were all in Russian! Translators had placed some signs for English speakers, and I saw one that made me crack up so much I just had to take a picture. Also, when you’re looking at the pictures, you’ll see an athlete. He was being interviewed, and I don’t know who he was, but he was a Russian athlete at the Sochi House. So fun.

House of Switzerland

Coffee, chocolate, and cheese. Those are the freebies being handed out at this pavilion. What could be better? Also nestled on Ganville Island, this is one of the more difficult areas to get to, but in my estimation well worth the effort. Sadly, I went here on a walk one day, with no camera, but the reviews are good.

In a matter of two weeks part of me feels like I’ve had a trip around the world, when in reality I’ve only walked around the city.

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