IWA Christmas BAZAAR 2017 was this month the most important charity event of the International Women’s Association in Romania. The national event organised every year in Bucharest is not only a fundraising action for disadvantaged groups, but also an opportunity for foreign citizens living in Romania to meet each other in a big family with common visions. On the international diversity event, the participating countries presented their culture, music, dances, port and traditions from all over the world.
It was the perfect place in December, to find Christmas presents and to attend artistic events around the world.
For more than two decades, the IWA Charity Christmas Bazaar has given us the opportunity to showcase the home cultures through traditional food, handicrafts and entertainment, while inviting people in Romania to shop for local and international products. This multicultural celebration was made possible through the support of more than 40 diplomatic missions, the international community, volunteers and business partners. Shopping for local
and international products in a fun and lively atmosphere is one of the highlights enjoyed by thousands of visitors annually.
Ximena Reyes, president of IWA and the national representative of Chile said that the country comes this year with a lot of delights for the public in Romania: “Empanadas are the favourite dish of our people, together with a glass of red wine from Chile. We have to be the part of the change that we want in the world. We have to be angels on earth. This morning someone woke up wishing his or her life would change and all the citizens in the world can be a part of this and to contribute.”
The International Christmas Bazaar was at its 27th edition this year and it has a very high tradition. This charity bazaar grew every year, in 2017 being the biggest one. To the fair I found creative ways of improving children’s education and one of the best example for this was Verita International School. Their aim is to nurture and enrich the child’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth. Emotional and social intelligence is as equally important as intellectual intelligence. Their integrated approach offers skills and values that aid in the development of self-motivation and the becoming of an independent learner who will be able to succeed in all of life’s complexities with adaptability, creativity, emotional balance and critical thinking.
“We had 50 countries, another country was added, Qatar, on the last one hundred meters. Our goal is to raise funds from which the International Women’s Association carries out charitable projects in the following year. The charitable projects that we will fund will be analyzed later in the year 2018”, says Andreea Vasiliu, marketig and sales director, Verita International School and member or IWA.
The projects that IWA funds come from different fields. With the support of the funds were helped children with very good school results. They are now able to continue their school. One of the major problems that IWA supported was the medical system, medical equipment, furniture, but not only. There were also scholarships for children.
“Being a charitable project, both organizers and visitors have put their hearts on what they are doing. There were 600 volunteers from 51 countries who either cooked, gathered products from their communities or made things and led them to the fair – people are attracted to this element of multiculturalism. They eat from Morocco, they move 3 meters farther down and eat Mexican food or Empanadas from Chile, they buy traditional jewelry from another country and I think that’s what attracts people a lot”, added Andreea Vasiliu.
Crista Reyes, a Mexican Clothing and Jewelry artist, came to the Christmas Bazaar with beautiful jewelry from Mexico and with a heart full of love for everything she does and for all the disadvantaged communities in Romania: “Mexico has a lot of silver, a lot of embroidery clothes, this means all the women from the state of Wahaca make them full of colours, full of flowers and it is a tradition from Mexico. Frida Kahlo is also here, she is a big symbol of Mexico. Almost all the clothes are made from cotton and for the jewelry I use Mexican silver and natural elements. The natural elements come from the trees, I use also painted wood. I have necklaces from wood. My philosophy is that when you give, you receive. Everything is for everybody and the world can share everything for everybody to benefit from this. I give today, but I can receive more later on in my life. This is the circle I live in.”
In addition to their staff, recipes and traditional cooking, Belli Siciliani Ristorante from Bucharest, brought to the fair this year, ingredients directly from Sicily, and they can also pride themselves with the title of “Ambassadors Kitchen of Sicily in the World” awarded at EXPO MILANO 2015 by the Region of Sicily. The meals and sweets are special because they do everything in their laboratory: from bread, to marzipan, creams, panettone and they do not use preservatives!
Lebanon came also this year with appetizing sweets and traditional recipes: “We find beautiful to promote not only our traditional food, but the fraternity among the nations, also working together for a beautiful goal. Mos of the Romanians are interested in the Lebanese cuisine, but they are also interested in culture, so if you provide them music, they love it because they are curious about other nations and about other cultures. They like also to discover, so they are a very nice public”, said Ambassador of Lebanon, Rana Mokaddem.
Malaysia came to the fair with very nice products and they cooked live, in front of all the people who visited the fair. I found also one of their best fruits in Malaysia. Not a lot of people from the Western part of the world are familiar with the Rambutan fruit, mostly because it is native to Malay countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. It is primarily known for its similarities with the lychee and the longan fruit, particularly its transparent-whitish flesh and the seed in the middle. This fruit it is also a good source of copper, ingesting this fruit is especially useful for the maintenance and the production of red blood cells.
“We want to introduce some of our food, some of our products and some of our fruits. We want to show to the community of this world and also to the people in Bucharest that Malaysia, although is very far away from Romania, it is a very interesting place for you to come and visit, to come and see and to come and eat,” declared Tajul Aman Mohammad, Ambassador of Malaysia.
Founded in 1978, the International Women’s Association of Bucharest (IWA) is an independent, voluntary, charitable, non-profit and non-political organization. IWA promotes friendship among women of all nationalities living in Romania, introduces its members to the culture of Romania, and supports local charitable organizations.
Thanks to an overwhelming support from diplomatic missions, companies and general public, the Christmas Bazaar raised an important amount of money, that have been been invested in the local community in several projects.
A beautiful event that helps visitors to share love all around the world, and also appreciation buying products in a multicultural world. I invite you to be a Fairytale Traveller inside the cultures of the world this winter. 🙂