Multi-ethnic folklore festival in Prague

Folklore festival, photo:

There's a lot of singing and dancing in the streets of the Czech capital these days in addition to the Khamoro Festival of Romany Culture and Music, there's another outdoor festival underway - the multi-ethnic folklore festival -which is a colourful display of the songs, dances and traditional dresses of 14 nations, among them India, Greece, Senagal and Cuba.

Although some of the events take place indoors, most of the ensembles sing and dance out in the open. On Thursday evening Radio Prague found them entertaining a crowd at Prague's Jiriho z Podebrad Square. Pavol Chupka is from Slovakia and he's one of the organizers of the festival.

"This is the 6th annual multi-ethnic folklore festival. The idea was to bring people together at a time when there is so much strife in the world. We just wanted to bring together people of different nationalities, with different traditions and show through this festival of song and dance that this is how we should behave towards each other."

Can you tell me who is here today?

"We have a Slovak ensemble, a Polish one, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian. So you will be able to see dances and songs from all the countries I just named. We try to use songs and music like a universal language, like Esperanto. Of course it would be nice to also taste the food of these nations but we think that their songs and dances are so temperamental they will feed people more than food would."

How long does it go on for, two or three days?

"Four days. Thursday through Sunday and it will climax in the Vinohrady Theatre with a gala concert there."