Daily Photo–Culture Cross
I cannot imagine a thing that goes together better than bag pipes and Jordan? No, I didn’t mean Scotland. I meant Jordan. It’s just like Haggis and…well I cannot think of anything that goes with Haggis, but anyway.
Today, we planned an outing to what we thought was going to be a “craft fair” here in Abu Dhabi; only to discover swag, music, culture, food, artwork, and my brush with a monarch. The venue we hit up was the MADE IN JORDAN exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre after a grueling day in the morning sun at our kids’ field day nearby. We were hungry, tired and hot. We had to use the lavatory, and stadium toilettes were just not going to cut it. We drove a few moments to the Exhibition Centre to catch what we thought to be a Jordanian Craft Fair. I have to admit my expectations were low. Craft fairs can often be disappointing. I hate to say that, but there are just some things you don’t need. Nevertheless, an ethnic Craft Fair had to hold some charm, right?! Okay, we we were starving. We knew there would be food vendors of some sort there.
After finding the necessary room, we found the Craft Fair itself. It was nothing like any of us expected. It was a trade show, but it showcased local artisans and even a few non-profits. We also found some food and cooled down. We were feeling much better after a morning in the “pounding March sun”–feels as strange to write that as an American as it does to experience it, truly. We met so many lively and friendly vendors from Jordan. One jewelry designer, who I am soon to blog about, whisked me off to take a photo of her and Princess Alia of Jordan who graced the convention with her presence. Now, I have zero–zilch interest in anyone’s monarch, but when I am talking to a really interesting person about jewelry–my passion–and she sees a princess and grabs me by the hand and asks me to come meet her, I go. Princess Alia is a rockstar. She was so friendly and approachable.
Anyway, getting back to the bagpipes and Cross Culture… When we saw the bag-pipists dressed in traditional Arabic garb, I really could not put it together. Really? Bagpipes and Jordan? Bagpipes representing Jordan are just another relic of the former British Empire. Cultures cross everywhere, but I find it so interesting when they seem so incongruent. In the Middle East, you expect to hear a zither or an Oud, not a bagpipe. If you’re curious about bag pipes out of Scotland, read on here.
If you are looking for something to do tomorrow or Saturday here in Abu Dhabi, check out MADE IN JORDAN.
Jordanian Bag pipists or Bag pipers?