May 4, 2009.-This Saturday, May 2nd, residents and visitors of Metropolitan Washington, DC had the opportunity to appreciate different demonstrations of Venezuelan culture in the residence of the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States. From works by well-known Venezuelan artists to dances and typical dishes, visitors were delighted by Venezuela’s 2009 edition of “Passport DC”.
This second edition of the festival runs from the 30th of April to the 9th of May, with the participation of 33 accredited diplomatic representatives in the US capital.
More than 1,160 people visited the residence of the Venezuelan Ambassador, located on famous Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC, surpassing the number of visitors of the previous year – when more than 800 people enjoyed the event. Like the previous edition, participants had the opportunity to tour the residence of the Ambassador, built in 1939 in Art Deco style, and to appreciate famous Venezuelan works of art.
This year the event featured various interactive dances and traditions from different parts of Venezuela. The “Ribbon Weaving” dance, a tradition of San Rafael de Mucuchies in the Andean state of Merida, delighted many visitors like Tim Anson, 50, of Fairfax, VA, who said “My family and I enjoyed this very much and we would do it again, we danced and learned new things.”
The “Ribbon Weaving” is a collective dance in which promotes teamwork and solidarity instead of individualism.
Children and adults also had the opportunity to participate and the creation of the la Cruz de Mayo (May Cross), a religious tradition celebrated in several Latin American countries on May 3rd. In Venezuela la Cruz de Mayo is an especially important celebration in the northern coastal region. Visitors also dance to the rhythm of Venezuelan calypso, which is typical of the southeastern region of the country in Bolivar state.
David Levin, 50, of Washington, DC called the experience “excellent”. He also said that he was impressed with the contemporary Venezuelan art, and the color of the works of Ángel Hurtado. “What marvelous colors!” he exclaimed.
The residence of the Ambassador also showed works of famed artist Armando Reverón, such as “Juanita”; “Vista de Avila” (View of Avila) by well-known painter of Caracas Manuel Cabré, and an expression of surrealism in Venezuela from the paintbrush of artist Héctor Poleo, “La Muñeca Rota” (The Broken Doll).
Visitors were able to appreciate a grand piano that is over 100 years old. Former US President Harry Truman (1945-1952), when he was a senator, played a few pieces on this piano during his visits to the residence.
The flavors of Venezuelan cuisine were also present. Participants not only enjoyed refreshing papelón con limón, a traditional Venezuelan beverage made with sugar cane and lemon, but they were also delighted by delicious tequeños, a typical Venezuelan appetizer made with cornmeal and melted white cheese.
Tom Milton, 23, of Ohio, said that the papelón con limón was “delicious and very refreshing”, and expressed his satisfaction with getting to know a little bit about Venezuelan culture and history.
The success of the Venezuelan exhibition in the 2009 Passport DC also described in the local blogosphere. Photographer Marcellina Rodríguez of Washington, DC, indicated in her blog that “the Venezuelan residence was one of the most interesting places to visit. The people who guided us seemed very, very happy.”
Passport DC began last year with the participation of 22 embassies. This event is coordinated with the organization Cultural Tourism of Washington, DC, and which is an entity appointed by the city mayor.
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office/ May 4th 2009