© Austin M. Davis
A volunteer dishes out sour cream on top of borscht at the Moose Jaw and Sitrict Seniors international cultural evening at Timothy Eaton Gardens on Friday.
Cultural dinner a chance to travel without packing
The Moose Jaw and District Seniors dinners are a one-night vacation.
“They’re able to travel without packing their bags,” said coordinator Huguette Okerstrom.
The international culture evening dinner at Timothy Eaton Gardens on Friday was a culmination of the previous six nights.
There were nights highlighting Ukrainian, Scottish, German, Philippines, Russian and Scandinavian cultures. All were on display on Friday night through the food, crafts and entertainment.
A 2013 grant from Service Canada made the events possible, but because the cultural evenings have been so popular, Okerstrom said the seniors association will continue to host them.
“The seniors come in and they get to hear about different cultures, they get to experience the foods and usually we’ll have exhibits so they get to see the crafts of other countries. A lot of times we’ll have youth that are in involved,” Okerstrom said.
“It’s important to have our seniors interact, rather than always being alone. It gives them a chance to not be isolated, to come and participate and to expand their horizons, shall I say,” Okerstrom said.
On previous nights there have been young dancers. On Friday, Desperate for Haggis performed songs from a variety of cultures.
Rarely are perogies served with spring rolls. The diverse menu appealed to those in attendance. And though everyone was happy with the borscht, they all had an example of someone’s borscht that’s even better.
Natalie Dyok playfully boasted about her borscht before getting humble.
“Everybody makes it different,” she said.
She’s been to every one of the cultural dinners.
“I like them all,” Dyok said. “I guess I like to eat.”
The food isn’t the only reason she thinks the events are great.
“You learn different things about different countries,” Dyok said.
She said there are usually more people in attendance but there were four banquets already in February.
“I do look forward to them. I don’t have to cook that way,” Dyok said.
Bob Busse did a prayer auf Deutsch for the German evening, but the international evening was the only other one he’d been to.
He said the dinner was something for him to do.
“I enjoy meeting different people,” Busse said. “And getting even with some guys that don’t play cards right. I’m not mentioning any names though.”
Busse joked about beer prices going up loud enough for the bartender to hear. The bartender responded by telling him to get a job as the table erupted in laughter.
“I do different tricks so I like to entertain them,” Busse said. “I’ll try one on you, just for the fun of it.”
Busse then performed a magic trick with a chain and a ring that this reporter would not dare reveal, even if he knew how it was done.