Euro Village festivities: much ado about nothing

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Euro Village festivities: much ado about nothing

Although it was supposed be an entry with family only, stags in large numbers easily got through the scanner gate installed and managed jointly by the EU and private security personnel; many had to return simply because there were not enough parking facilities

By AB Khan

The tin walls erected around the grounds of the Convention Center Islamabad depicted a sight of a citadel. Islooties and Pindi boys thronged the venue in large numbers to see what was all the hype of “Euro Village 2024” was about. Although it was supposed to be an entry with family only, stags in large numbers easily got through the scanner gate installed and managed jointly by the EU and private security personnel. Stall bearing European Union signs were right at the entrance of the ground where 10 to 15 stalls from different EU member countries in the likes of Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Finland, Romania, Poland could be spotted with a naked eye.

To being with, most of the stalls were empty and free giveaways like T-shirts, shopping bags, Mugs etc were all gone within first two hours according to the Spanish councilor who was giving explanations to the visitors that we were not expecting so many people so early. Moreover, many visitors had to return because there were not enough parking facilities available. The scarcity of parking spaces led to significant traffic congestion on the main roads connecting Rawalpindi and Murree, creating challenges for individuals unrelated to the Euro Village festivities. This issue not only inconvenienced residents and commuters but also impacted the overall flow of traffic, exacerbating the already bustling nature of these key thoroughfares.

Although the Dutch stall was busy putting mixed flour to make truffles in the electric oven, the other Dutch delicacies were long gone.

As the EU member State pegged their stalls in a “L” shape formation,  local stalls of food vendors were seen selling in the other corner .  Cakes,  Waffles, Channa chat, fries and other munches were being sold like hot cakes as vendors looked quite busy doing good business.

The highlight of the evening was the live performance by Qurat ul Aain Baluch also known as QB of drama Humsafar theme song.

The idea to hold EU  Village  event started off a few years ago with great  fanfare bringing together EU member states to showcase their food, artefacts and local traditional culture  with foreign musical bands mesmerizing the audience , magician performing  to give a share of laughter to children and fusion of Pakistani and European music  with families  enjoying a sunny day out .

This year the event looked more of a local mela rather than an EU presentation of their culture and traditions.

It would be nice to see, stalls with traditional food to taste, ceramics and artefacts to buy and hosts in their traditional attires to fascinate the Pakistani visitors with their fashion haute couture.

The best thing about this event was that EU Village was visa free!