ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and other Canberra events

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and other Canberra events

In general Exhibition Park in and of itself is a beautiful and serene place to hold any kind of event with it’s long lawns of nicely mown grass, to it’s abundance of parking space and generally aesthetically pleasing buildings. Me and my friend walked towards the entrance of the Book Fair, paying a small dollar coin donation, after walking through main entrance building we were led to the massive almost warehouse like main fair area, almost comparable to a school gym, in the room was hundreds and hundreds of books neatly organized into genre and author. I instantly enthusiastically gravitated towards the Science Fiction and Philosophy sections, happy to find that no book was over the price of $7, and that most books which were in surprisingly near perfect condition rarely went above $2-3, this of course is due to the generosity of those donating their near perfect books to this charitable event. In all i came home with my sling bag weighing on my shoulder heavily under the weight of all the great finds i had discovered at the fair. Of course for those who missed the book fair on the 13th there’s always a second large book fair event being held at Exhibition Park on the 18th to 20th of September the “Epic” Exhibition Park Book Fair, truly worth checking out.

The day after I was treated to of course one of Canberra’s greatest events to the senses, an event that pleases all sight, smell, taste and sound. I’m talking of course about the Canberra Multicultural festival, I attended the festival on the 14th of February, I took the public ACTION bus system with my siblings and headed straight to civic. Immediately after getting off the bus i could hear fast catchy beats from the south americas and could smell sweet, sour and spicy. The Multicultural festival was true atmosphere as one could feel and see the coming together of so many different cultures, and it also gave off extremely inclusive and homely vibes.

The twists and turns of Garema Place and the streets that surrounded it were filled with an assorted number of stalls all selling foods and information from their culture enthusiastically, with cultural local community groups and religious groups telling people what they’re about to stalls from south east asia to the south of asia selling satays, curries and sweets. Though one could say the price of the food was on the hefty side, it no doubt was worth the price, it’s not everyday that you get the chance to try the foods of many a culture in the same place.

There was also 2-3 stages set up around the general Garema Place area, each playing either a band from a particular culture or showcased dancers from a particular region, throughout the day I got to watch Latvian Dancers amaze me with their skills and then hear the catchy tunes of South American groove bands. The multicultural festival is by far one of Canberra’s most exciting and colourful events, as well as a great tool to bring the greater community of Canberra together with it’s homely inclusive vibes and atmosphere.

Then on the 18th of February to wrap everything up I was treated to watch the Bangladesh V Afghanistan game at Canberra’s Manuka Oval. The lines were huge with the chatter of local and Bangladeshi journalists being heard amidst the large crowds of Bangladeshi supporters, who had flooded to Manuka Oval and essentially turned the whole place into a strong shade of green and red. After bag check and then entry, it was hard not to get caught up in the heavy atmosphere, even before the players had even set foot on the pitch to start the innings the bengali fans had seemingly got into a contest of chants with the Afghani fans. The atmosphere was tense, competitive, and aggressive yet calm enough just to be comfortable, both sides wanted to see a victory and the would voice that opinion.

Though it was undeniable to see which side had the greater support, Manuka Oval was sold out and it was an ocean of green and red Bangladesh supporters, all shouting and chanting passionately for their side to have a strong victory over Afghanistan for their first ICC match of the cup.

At first it seemed Bangladesh who had chosen to start off with batting were not assuredly on the path to a dominant victory, though mid game when a strong batting partnership occurred boosting Bangladesh’s run rate near the 300 benchmark to 267 runs, the crowd would explode with excitement every time a 6 or 4 was hit, mexican waves and chanting, Bangladesh fever had struck most of the crowd.

When the second innings started Bangladesh had taken 3 wickets for a mere 3 runs, the crowd was chanting, pitching and rolling, it was quite the experience to be apart of the green and red ocean that was the Manuka Oval on the 18th of February, the support was so strong that after Bangladesh’s dominant victory over Afghanistan, the Bengali cricket team did a lap in appreciation to all their fans, some which had travelled from far off Australian cities and drove to Canberra to see their home countries cricket team play.

All in all the last two weeks of February offered a great deal of entertainment and general satisfaction, sometimes it becomes a struggle to appreciate Canberra with it’s sense of being a city and a small town in one odd jumble, but with events like the ones i went to in the last two weeks, it’s definitely hard not to sometimes lean back and say “Canberra isn’t too bad after all”.

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