Every year throughout the first week in July, the city of Brantford, Ontario, is host to the International Villages Festival. Brantford is the only city to offer the International Villages Festival in the province of Ontario, and it is a wonderful way to permit individuals to experience different cultures they likely would not otherwise.
The Villages are something my family and I have been involved with for years. I have been a Csardas dancer for the Hungarian Village off and on for many years, my sister continues to dance and was the Queen of the Hungarian village, my mom, dad and grandmother volunteer, my dad danced when he was a teenager, and many of my cousins and aunts and uncles continue to dance. The years I haven’t danced I have volunteered as well, and the Villages really are an enriching and enjoyable time of year for many of the residents of Brantford.
I supposed I’m a tad biased towards the Hungarian Village because I have been involved with it for so long, but between the lively dancing, the costume changes, the cultural showroom, and of course, the mouth-watering Hungarian cuisine, it’s never a disappointing experience. There are many other Villages offering similar experiences, some examples of other Villages being Ukranian, German, Polish, Muslim, and many others. If you’re a resident of Brantford, or reside relatively close to the city, I strongly encourage you to visit and attend different Villages between today and this Saturday. The atmosphere of each and every Village is authentic, lively and unique, and the Villages Festival has been an integral component of Brantford’s Summer festivities for over 40 years.
A word of warning; If you come to the Hungarian Village, it may be worth wearing loose-fitting pants. It’s difficult to enjoy only one serving of our delicious food.