A generous autumn I

12094905_502951326549237_3656363467980990735_oKolibrí festival offered a tour of iconic landscapes, so many that they did not fit into a single event. Kolibrí festival has Latin American roots and it is growing bright across Finland, we hope, ever fuller and multicultural.

Kolibrí started its journey in spring. It lasted for one week with the kite building and flying activities in 5 different libraries in Espoo. The week ended with an unforgettable party “KesäFiesta” in Malmitalo. More than 1000 people both children and adults participated in workshops, tasted traditional foods and watched performances.

In the autumn the festival expanded itself into panel discussions, photo exhibitions, Mexican children’s painting exhibition, live performances, different kind of workshops and a party for the whole family. All these activities promoted coexistence and learning between cultures, the use of mother and father tongues and the presence of the whole family from babies to grandparents.
According to Laura Gazotti, the general coordinator and dreamer of Kolibrí festival, this autumn was generous. Incessant gratefulness has been crossing through social networks towards the artists, panelists and volunteers. Behind the organization of the festival there is a courageous team, including Yesmith Sanchez whose words for the volunteers’ work are: “hats off!”, say no more.

Kolibrí started its journey in the library of Entresse. The quality of the debate in the panel “New Finns” was impeccable. The presentation of the book “Uusia suomalaisia” by Anni Valtonen and the photographer Milka Alanen along with the photo exhibition made a perfect start to talk about the current challenges of families and multiculturalism in Finland. This was a cooperation between Kolibrí festival, the NGO Familia club and Entresse library.

The festival continued with a conversation about the father language in Tiedekulma of Helsinki University. The audience was amazing. Shared experiences, data and the many challenges in the work of keeping alive the native languages in one’s children is an issue which in itself is not new. However, the role of fathers in it seems to be. Conclusion: The task is possible, but it requires perseverance and patience.

Entresse library opened its doors for Kolibrí on 26th of September for a beautiful family celebration. Nearly 200 families moved nimbly among workshops, building kites, painting a giant portrait indoors, listening to stories, Flamenco dancing, singing and getting to know Andean music as well as printing and coloring their own kolibrí. The families appreciated the possibility to join activities according to their own schedules and timing of their children. The smallest visitor was only 4 weeks old. Kolibrí continued its autumn journey: children printed hummingbird pictures on their shirts.

Photo by: Mariana Gomez Quintero