Monday, April 13, 2015

Heritage Festivals-Talk About Having a Great Time!

My daughter saw a poster at her work: Lithuanian festival. She took a pic with her cell phone with all the details and told us as soon as she walked in the door. "Yah wanna go?"

Hah. Did we want to go. Let me tell you about Lithuanians, they know how to have fun!

Nestled in a community where the houses are only inches away from each other was the building where the festival took place. 

A team of dancers, ranging from the little ones in this photo to adults standing behind the curtain, performed ethnic dances. The audience clapped to the beat and cheered the dancers on.

Lithuanians who ran the kitchen had no idea such a crowd would come. It seemed every Lithuanian from hundreds of miles heard the news. They ran out of food hours before the festival was over!

Our favorite Lithuanian dish:
Kugelis, Cepelinai, sausage, and sauerkraut
My son and I went to one line and told the worker what we wanted. We knew how to say the words and apparently convinced the gal we could speak the language. She smiled and rattled off the instructions and prices. "Whoa!" we said. We are Lithuanian, but we don't know how to speak the language! Truly we were the only ones speaking English!

We laughed and had so much fun. 

Saltibarsciai (cold beet soup)
Photo by Mary Vee

The food is what most of us go to festivals to enjoy. I couldn't believe how delicious the Kugelis (potato and bacon dish), fresh sausage, cepelinai (a potato dumpling stuffed with meat) and sauerkraut tasted. Fresh, cooked perfectly. Yum.

We bought some Saltibarsciai (the cold beet soup in the photo to the left.

Sakotis (tree cake)
Photo by Mary Vee

For dessert we brought home Sakotis (tree cake). Our family calls this cake by it's German name, baumkuchen. I left it in the wrapper to take the picture, because once the plastic is removed this delicious cake evaporates instantly courtesy of family members. 

These cakes are made on spits and can be three-feet tall.

What is so amazing about a group of Lithuanians who get together, is their simultaneous conversations. This is how it works. Persons A,B,C,D,E,F will sit at one table. A, B, and C will talk at the same time expecting everyone at the table to hear their conversations. Then D, E, F, and A will respond, at the same time. And they do! I don't know how. But I've witnessed it in Lithuania, at our family gathering, and here at the festival. It is amazing.

Lithuanian Dancers

I would be hard press to choose what I enjoyed most at the festival. The laughter, conversation, food, ethnic dances, the fun spirit of a people group speaking their own language.

We all have our genealogies and can identify mostly with one people group or another. 

I have a second people group that I belong to and also enjoy being with. They are known as the body of Christ. Although as individuals we gather in separate ethnic groups, we will all speak the same language in heaven.

So, what people group do you mostly belong to? 
Have you ever attended your own heritage festival?
What did you like the best?

No comments: