Czech Republic: Babylonfest, a parade of national minorities, begins in Brno today
Babylonfest, a festival and parade by the national minorities living in the Czech Republic's second-largest city, will begin today in Brno. The ninth annual festival will run through Saturday.
The festival intends to give representatives of minorities room to meet with one another and to present their cultures to the general public. Minorities living in Brno include the Greek minority and large communities of Slovaks and Ukrainians.
"We see the benefit of this project as lying especially in the mutual communication, the exchange of experiences, and the enrichment of all who attend this common gathering in Brno," said Jana Janulíková, director of the City of Brno Tourist Information Center. The festival presents the traditional folk cultures preserved by members of national minorities living in Brno.
There will be performances by 13 ensembles of various nationalities, including Bulgarians and Hungarians. The festival will begin with the ceremonial planting of national trees representing Ruthenians and the Vietnamese in the Lužánky Park.
On Wednesday, representatives of the Croatian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish and Russian national minorities will present works by authors from their nations who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. On Thursday the program will continue with musical performances.
Babylonfest culminates on Saturday with a parade by the ensembles dressed in national costume and a performance by them on Moravské Square. Tastings of traditional foods and a folk dance school will be part of the closing.
The entire festival is free of charge (voluntary donations welcomed), with the exception of the film screenings based on works by the Nobel Prize-winning authors, for which there will be a CZK 50 (EUR 1.85) fee. The screenings will be held in the Břetislav Bakala Hall (Sál Břetislava Bakaly).
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