Every year, Cultural Tourism DC presents Passport DC, a month-long celebration of international culture that lets us explore the world without even leaving the city. Nearly everyday throughout May there are programs — music and dance performances, art exhibits, workshops, embassy events, street festivals, food tastings, and more — that bring global adventures to DC. Among them are a few signature events that are extra special and family-friendly.
One of them, the Around the World Embassy Tour, took place this past weekend. Forty countries from all over the world opened their embassy doors to the public for a glimpse into their cultures with everything from live entertainment, displays of art and traditional wares, music, dancing, food samples, rum shots (thank you, Nicaragua!). I’d always wanted to attend the event, but for some reason or another, couldn’t make it. So, when Passport DC extended a media invite this year, there was no way I was going to miss it, and my excellent “travel” companion, Sasha, and I embarked on the grand tour.
Early commitments kept us from getting over there until the last couple of hours, but we made the most with the time we had. We watched dances from Peru and Trinidad and Tobago, got to see (and take pics with) llamas and ponies, enjoyed the sounds of island music, pet an iguana, viewed beautiful art from Indonesia and Nicaragua, checked out mini markets of wares from around the world, and sampled food and drinks from a host of countries.
Our favorite, hands down, was Nicaragua. We’d been touring awhile, and Sasha’s little legs were ready to call it a day, but we kept seeing people walk by with funky straw hats and knew we had to go. And even though it was out of our way, I’m so glad we stopped by, because as soon as we walked in, it was a party. Staff greeted us with the hats and maracas (they know how to make a kid happy!), then directed us to the next room where island music blared, and samples of coffee and shots of rum and the traditional Nicaraguan drink were being offered. Yum. We followed the line of hat-wearing folks upstairs, and no one seemed to care that it was a bit slow-going…it was all smiles and even some dancing as we walked through a couple of rooms, sampling more coffee and traditional treats and viewing art on display. The party even continued in a little courtyard area on the way out, where food was for sale.
As if that wasn’t a great way to end our tour, it got even better as we left there and ran into a KFDC reader (who noticed “KidFriendly DC” on Sasha’s press pass) and her little girl. What a treat it was to meet you, Shawnte and Symone!
So, if you missed the Around the World Embassy Tour (or even if you made it), there are more opportunities to experience international adventures with Passport DC: This Saturday, May 11, is Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House, a chance to check out the culture of 28 EU nations on a tour of their embassies. And on Saturday, May 18, the National Asian Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia Street Fair welcomes the public to experience ASian culture on Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd St & 6th St NW. Admission to both events is free.