15 June 2013

BCSA Garden Party 2013

The British Czech and Slovak Association (BCSA) Garden Party is one of the few social events that I go to every year. And there are good reasons for this.

The Garden Party brings together people, culture and setting. The beer helps too.

The Party switches between the Slovak and Czech Embassies and uses their shared garden. This year we were in the Slovak Embassy which was just as well as it has a large reception area where we spent most of the afternoon avoiding the torrential rain.

Some of the culture came from Slovak dance troupe Karpaty who gave us their usual display. Their folk renditions were well received and I saw several people singing along.

More culture came from the photographs in the background. These were part of an exhibition that ringed the room showing pictures of people in regional costumes from various parts of Slovakia.

One of my Slovak friends explained that in her region married women wore hats to show their status and she remembered her grandmother doing so.

I think that it was Veronika who told me that and she is on the right here next to Jana. They made me take the photo so I hope that they like it.

There were lots of other friends there and I can recall having decent conversations with about a dozen people. And there were several other people that I swapped a few words with in passing too. I spent so much time talking that I hardly any time to eat or, more importantly, drink. I think that I only had four bottles of Budvar all afternoon and that must be a low record for me.

The weather played tricks with us all afternoon confining us to inside for periods then tempting us out again with a little bit of sun.

A longer period of sunshine towards the end of the afternoon allowed the dancing to move outside. Pictures of me participating on this may appear on the internet but they are obviously false.

It was a fantastic afternoon. The periodic heavy rain completely failed to spoil it as it was outclassed by the companionship and the culture. The beer helped too.

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