Passport DC is a FREE cultural event celebrating May which is International Cultural Awareness Month. The District of Columbia is home to more embassies than any other city in the world, and Passport DC honors the diversity of cultural influences in the District by providing tourists and residents alike to learn more about the international community. Along with the “Around the World Embassy Tour” there are Street Fairs, film screenings to round out the affair.
I participated this past Saturday on the Around the World Tour and traveled to: Haiti, Japan, Belize and Brazil. I visited a mosque as well.
Here’s what I learned from the embassy visits.
5. Japan manufactures everything. Land (Toyota), air, or sea they got it all covered!
And if that wasn’t enough, they also make these:
4. Venezuela’s official name is The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This does not mean that it is ‘owned’ by Bolivia, which I originally assumed. Upon further research, the name was imposed by Hugo Chavez as part of his revolutionary project to change Venezuela’s constitution. Bolivarian refers to the figure and national hero Simon Bolivar, which Bolivia was also named after.
3. Bolivia’s official name is the Plurinational state of Bolivia. According to Wikipedia, this name acknowledges the multi-ethnic makeup of the country, and the “enhanced position of Bolivia’s indigenous people under the new constitution.”
2. I may or many not be able to pass for an Arab woman.
1. Quinoa is a grain-like crop (plant) that is cultivated for its seeds. The crop is mostly grown in Andean regions. 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa, and on the tour Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela featured some aspect of the crop at their embassies. At the Venezuelan Embassy, I tried some Quinoa juice and bread pudding. The juice was very different, not sweet nor sour, but the pudding was alright!
All in all, the trip around the world was a good time.
I don’t see what other reasons I may have to visit an Embassy (unless I get excited to some uber exclusive party) so this was a nice way to be introduced to places I hope to see in real life soon!