By Gina Escobar
Colombia, a mysterious place that many cannot locate on a map. A place of danger where many won’t dare to go. Tell me, what comes to you when you hear the name “Colombia”?
Throughout the years I have encountered people with interesting ideas on Colombia. Some have asked about its location, most have mentioned cocaine, others have asked if we speak Portuguese. It seems to me that people have a vague idea about Colombia or Columbia as it is so often mistakenly referred to. Colombia is a 48 million inhabitant country located in the northwest part of South America. Did you know that besides Spanish, English is one of its official languages? Also, Colombia is the only country in South America with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The size of Colombia is something like France, Spain and Portugal together. Did you know that it is the most megadiverse country per square meter in the world?
Perhaps you have been in contact with Colombia without noticing it. For instance, have you seen a round little orange fruit used to decorate cocktails or dishes, called Physalis? Do you know Shakira? Have you ever wondered where emeralds come from? Have you heard of Juan Valdez and his donkey? What about the Legend of El Dorado? Did you read One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera? Have you heard about someone called El Pibe Valderrama or Falcao? Then you have been in touch with this country.
Geographically, Colombia is divided into six natural regions with unique characteristics expressed in weather, idiosyncrasy, food, music, landscape and dialects. Those regions are the Andes, the Caribbean Coast, the Insular, the Amazon, the Planes and the Pacific coast. Each region has experienced different cultural influences such as indigenous, African, European, Arabic and Asian, resulting in an extremely diverse society.
Colombian Weekend is an invitation to explore a different face of Colombia. This is a cultural initiative that will take place in Leipzig on the 6th and 7th of November, 2015. It will focus on the Caribbean region of the country, guiding us on a trip along two of its typical rhythms: Cumbia and Champeta. This two-day event will offer activities for adults and children including dance workshops, documentary showings, food tastings and a party. Colombian Weekend is not a commercial event but rather a cultural proposal based on crowdfunding for coverage of its organizational costs. If you want to join or support this event, visit the official website and follow us on Facebook under Colombian Weekend Leipzig. Tickets with a pre-sale price are available until 15.10 on the website.