International Children’s Day in Balboa Park.

Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today's event at the International Cottages.
Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today’s event at the International Cottages.

International Children’s Day was celebrated this afternoon at the International Cottages in Balboa Park. The event was hosted by the House of Turkey, the nation that inspired this special day. Kids representing many nations took part.

Prior to a series of youthful performances, I learned during the introductory speech that every year on April 23 Turkey celebrates Children’s Day, a holiday created by modern Turkey’s founder Atatürk. He recognized that children would inherit that newly independent nation’s future. As a reminder, during Children’s Day the Turkish President, Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and provincial governors all turn over their positions to children for that one day.

As this day has become more international, UNICEF now recognizes International Children’s Day.

Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey's lawn program, celebrating International Children's Day.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey’s lawn program, celebrating International Children’s Day.
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A visit inside the House of Scotland’s cottage.

People visit the House of Scotland's cottage in Balboa Park.
People visit the House of Scotland’s picturesque cottage in Balboa Park.

When I walk in Balboa Park, I usually pass through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Inside these quaint cottages, the cultures of diverse nations are proudly on display, and world history comes to life. There is much for visitors to learn and discover.

At the International Cottages, “Houses” representing different nations all coexist peacefully. If only the world could be that way.

Recently I poked my nose into the cottage operated by the House of Scotland. Scottish culture and history have always fascinated me.

I took a few photos…

A plaque by the cottage's flagpole reads: In Memory of L/CPL Kenneth J. Haywood U.S.M.C. 1943 - 1965 Member of The House of Scotland House of Pacific Relations
A plaque by the cottage’s flagpole reads: In Memory of L/CPL Kenneth J. Haywood U.S.M.C. 1943 – 1965 Member of The House of Scotland House of Pacific Relations.
Inside the House of Scotland cottage there are fascinating photographs, artifacts and cultural displays.
Inside the House of Scotland’s small cottage there are fascinating photographs, artifacts and cultural displays.
A doll wearing a Scottish kilt, and a certificate that commemorates the 2010 San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans. The annual event takes place in Vista.
A doll wearing a Scottish kilt, and a certificate that commemorates the 2010 San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans. The annual event takes place in Brengle Terrace Park in Vista.
Bagpipes and a badge worn by a drummer of the House of Scotland Junior Pipe Band.
Bagpipes and a badge worn by a drummer of the House of Scotland Junior Pipe Band. The House of Scotland Pipe Band is well known in San Diego and performs many rousing concerts.
Diagram shows the costume of the widely recognized Dewar’s Scotch Highlander, including bonnet, gold sash, kilt, plaid, drum major’s baton and sword.
Diagram shows the costume of the widely recognized Dewar’s Scotch Highlander, including bonnet, gold sash, kilt, plaid, drum major’s baton and sword.
All sorts of interesting items on display in the cottage provide a small taste of Scotland in San Diego.
All sorts of interesting items on display inside the cottage provide a small taste of Scotland.
Many famous verses by the national poet of Scotland Robert Burns.
Famous verses by the national poet of Scotland Robert Burns.
An article describes tossing the caber at Highland Games. The origins of this unusual event is unknown. A heavy pole is flipped, with the aim that it lands straight.
An article describes tossing the caber at Highland Games. The exact origin of this unusual event is uncertain. A heavy pole is flipped, with the aim that it lands straight.
The coat of arms of two different clans. Scotland comes to life inside one of the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
The coat of arms of two different clans. Scotland comes to life inside one of the International Cottages in Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Joy and tradition at Balboa Park Pow Wow!

Joy and tradition. Mother's Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.
Joy and tradition together. Mother’s Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.

Here come some colorful photos!

The annual Balboa Park Pow Wow was held this Mother’s Day weekend. I swung on by to absorb some of the event. To feel the power.

What did I see?

Native American costume adds color and meaning to a sacred dance.
Native American costume adds life and meaning to a sacred dance.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and related gifts for sale.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and gifts for sale.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A young lady needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
A young lady at the Pow Wow needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money. (I took this photo toward the end, when the blanket had a nice heap of bills.)
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be super good!
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be good!
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Art of the Open Air in beautiful Balboa Park.

A monumental sculpture with two determined faces. Border Crossing/Cruzando El Rio Bravo, 1989, Luis Jiménez.
A monumental sculpture with two determined faces. Border Crossing/Cruzando El Rio Bravo, 1989, Luis Jiménez.

I urge anyone in San Diego to visit the Art of the Open Air exhibit now running in Balboa Park. Fifteen monumental sculptures by important artists are currently on display in the Plaza de Panama and inside the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden. These works belong to the San Diego Museum of Art.

In case you can’t see them in person, here are some photos of the sculptures that are arranged around the Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs provide information about both the artwork and the artists.

Sculpture walk map. Fifteen works by important artists are featured in the San Diego Museum of Art's new exhibit Art of the Open Air.
Sculpture walk map. Fifteen works by important artists are featured in the San Diego Museum of Art’s new exhibit Art of the Open Air.
One of eight signs in the Plaza de Panama, explaining the fascinating outdoor exhibit, which will run in Balboa Park through February 13, 2018.
One of eight signs in the Plaza de Panama, explaining the fascinating outdoor exhibit, which will run in Balboa Park through February 13, 2018.
Seven of the fifteen outdoor sculptures are located in Balboa Park's historic Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs explain the diverse artwork and artists.
Seven of the fifteen outdoor sculptures are located in Balboa Park’s historic Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs explain the diverse artwork and artists.
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego check out a large sculpture depicting migrants crossing the Rio Grande.
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego check out a large sculpture depicting migrants crossing the Rio Grande.
Artist Luis Jiménez focused on the American Southwest, using vivid colors and materials from popular culture. His work often questioned cultural stereotypes.
Artist Luis Jiménez focused on the American Southwest, using vivid colors and materials from popular culture. His work often questioned cultural stereotypes.
The Watchers, 1960, Lynn Chadwick. Geometric, featureless sculptures that convey human anxiety and distrust.
The Watchers, 1960, Lynn Chadwick. Geometric, featureless sculptures that convey human anxiety and distrust.
Lynn Chadwick, a post-World War II British sculptor, believed that art should be a manifestation of some vital force from the dark.
Lynn Chadwick, a post-World War II British sculptor, believed that art should be a manifestation of some vital force from the dark.
The Prodigal Son, 1905, Auguste Rodin. A sculpture from The Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante's Inferno.
The Prodigal Son, 1905, Auguste Rodin. A sculpture from The Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s Inferno.
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor inspired by Michelangelo and linked to the Impressionists. He believed sculpture should produce the impression of movement.
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor inspired by Michelangelo and linked to the Impressionists. He believed sculpture should produce the impression of movement.
Mother and Daughter Seated, 1971, Francisco Zúñiga. Archetype of a mother-daughter pair, rendered both physically and psychologically.
Mother and Daughter Seated, 1971, Francisco Zúñiga. Archetype of a mother-daughter pair, rendered both physically and psychologically.
Francisco Zúñiga created unique artwork that is defined by a fundamental humanism.
Francisco Zúñiga created unique artwork that is defined by a fundamental humanism.
Big Open Skull, 1966-73, Jack Zajac. A monumental bronze sculpture that creates a sense of timelessness.
Big Open Skull, 1966-73, Jack Zajac. A monumental bronze sculpture that creates a sense of timelessness.
Jack Zajac is an American artist who once worked at a steel mill. He is now Sculptor Emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jack Zajac is an American artist who once worked at a steel mill. He is now Sculptor Emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Solar Bird, 1966, Joan Miró. One of the artist's recurring motifs, the bird symbolizes flight and escape, liberty and spirituality.
Solar Bird, 1966, Joan Miró. One of the artist’s recurring motifs, the bird symbolizes flight and escape, liberty and spirituality.
Joan Miró is a famous Spanish artist best known for his Surrealist paintings.
Joan Miró is a famous Spanish artist best known for his Surrealist paintings.
Odyssey III, 1973, Tony Rosenthal. Circular planes made of aluminum are forward-looking, anticipating an adventurous journey.
Odyssey III, 1973, Tony Rosenthal. Circular planes made of aluminum are forward-looking, anticipating an adventurous journey.
Tony Rosenthal is an American artist who created clean lines, pure forms. His sculptures fit the open-air environment of Southern California.
Tony Rosenthal was an American artist who created clean lines, pure forms. His sculptures fit the open-air environment of Southern California.
Fantastic works of art await visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego.
Fantastic works of art await visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please click Short Stories by Richard.