A sharing of cultures on Logos Hope
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
WHILE WATCHING ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ starring Jackie Chan in 2004, I couldn’t help but be envious of the characters as they got to travel around the world – even though they faced ridiculous misfortunes throughout their journey. On April 12 , I got to experience a taste of every continent during Logos Hope’s open ship event.
Despite the scorching temperature and blazing heat on a Sunday afternoon, the ship was jam-packed with visitors getting on board to experience the fun cross-cultural day.
Splitting up the booths according to their different continents – Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe – the visitors had a fun time exploring different cultures as they got to meet and talk to the crew of different nationalities. Visitors also did not miss the exciting chance to snap some photos with the crew members in their national costumes.
During the event, Borneo Post SEEDS had the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the crew members from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
“Today is about sharing our culture because we are all of different nationality and want to welcome the people and tell them about our cultures,” said event team leader, Regina Palaques.
Hailing from Mexico, Regina is passionate about her country, especially the food.
“But, there is this misconception that every Mexican dish has corn in it. Everywhere I go they put corn in any food and they think it is Mexican. But actually, we put corn in few dishes,” said Regina.
“Mexican are loud and warm people as well as very touchy. It might be a counter culture to other countries but people seems to be fine with it because they like different culture,” said Regina of her own culture.
Looking lovely in her white lacy blouse and red flowing skirt was Jossy Giesbrecht from Paraguay, where the people of Paraguay tend to wear light and breathable fabrics due to the hot weather, something that we Malaysians can understand.
Due to the hot weather, Paraguayans have a unique tradition of drinking cold tea called tereré, a common tea drink among the Paraguayans where it is regarded as a social drink.
The serving of tereré is done in a circle with one person serving the drink and everyone sharing the same cup, much like our local sadong tradition here, except with tea.
“In my culture, the people are very social. We would meet at specific hour when we have time, and we would drink tereré either with family, friends or co-workers,” said Jossy.
Unlike other teas prepared in hot water, tereré is prepared by mixing the yerba maté leaves in a unique cup shaped like a cow’s horn called the ‘guampa’ and a filtered straw called the ‘bombilla’ with cold water and ice from the thermos.
“My country is very hot and we don’t like drinking just plain water and that is why we prepare it cold. So we mainly drink cold tea since it is so refreshing,” said Jossy, offering me a taste of the tea which tasted almost like chilled green tea. On that hot day, it was certainly refreshing.
Also looking lovely in her national costume was Esther Thring from South Africa, where according to her, the dresses are usually of vibrant colours and are typically worn during formal occasions and celebration.
While Esther was wearing a long, flowing dress, she elaborated that the length of the dress may vary depending on the individual and their culture.
“In the rural areas, the women would be topless and wear beaded skirts with necklace and beads around their ankles,” said Esther.
Looking very much like a shorter version of the dress, the men’s shirt, unlike the women’s national costume, can be worn on any occasion regardless of whether it is for a formal occasion or work attire.
“Because it can be quite hot, they like the loose kind of top, but depending on the parts of Africa, it could also be longer but I know in South Africa, they usually wear the shorter one,” said Esther.
Besides offering a selection of over 5,000 books at affordable prices there were various events happening on board Logos Hope such as International Music Night on April 26, and open ship events like this one which offered great opportunities for people to see and learn more about the ship and her 400-strong crew.
Logos Hope was in Kuching from Apr 1-29 and is currently in Cebu, Philippines.