mature women in traditional clothes
Ethnic clothes at the Fairbanks International Friendship Day. Left: Burkina Carso. Right: China

Every October Fairbanks celebrates its diversity with the International Friendship Day. This year the International Friendship Day marked its 30th anniversary. The venue took place at the Pioneer Centennial Center in the Pioneer Park, which in some travel guides is called Alaska Land.

There were performances from a variety of different national groups that reached from Chinese opera, over music and songs, sword fighting, to traditional dances from various cultures. Furthermore, there were various booths that displayed items unique to the various cultures. At some booths, one could buy traditional food, cookies, bread, or cakes and/or souvenirs or even clothing items.

Great traditional clothes – the International Fashion show

A big highlight of the Fairbanks International Friendship Day is the international clothing pageant. My husband and I have modeled Alpine attire within this traditional clothes show since several years. Unfortunately, I hadn’t found someone to make a photo of the final part, when all models are on the stage at the same time.

women in Polynesian and Indian outfit
Traditional clothes from Polynesia (left) and India (right)

This year, the Norwegian group was the largest in the pageant followed by Japan. There were, among others, clothes from the Netherlands, Baltic, Afghanistan, Thailand, Spain, and Russia. I went around to take photos of some ethnic clothes that I thought were outstanding. Aren’t these dresses gorgeous? Let your friends know by tweeting them to have a look at these awesome ethnic clothes!

What I find interesting is that the clothes are more colorful in the countries closer to the Equator than they are for countries farther north, may be with the exception of Norwegian sweaters.

Fairbanks streetstyle

mature woman wearing street style
Fairbanks street style with down puffer jacket. Left: Front view. Right: Back view

Displays of traditional items

ethnic Souvenirs Bangles, Russian dolls, pins, spoons, and mirror bag
International souvenirs for display. Upper left to lower right: Indian bangle holder with bangles, Russian dolls and Easter egg, Russian hand-painted spoons and USSR pins, buttons and stickers, Indian bag with mirror embroidery

No outfit is complete without hat and shoes

hats from various countries
Hats from various countries

A common thing to all cultures seems to be that celebrations and special occasions ask for a hat. It is amazing how many ways exist to create a head cover.

#shoes shoes from various countries of the world
Peace Corps shoe collection display

One of my favorite sayings is that

One never can have too many shoes.

My favorites of this collection are the silver pumps and the wood shoes. I once owned a pair and I loved wearing them with wool socks for gardening. They are so much more comfy than the plastic clogs that just produce sweety feet.

International food for sale

woman with Thai food and Mexican and Chinese food booths
Mexican (upper right) and Chinese (lower right) food booths and woman with a Thai dish

Snapshots of some performances

Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance Team
Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance Team
#ethnicClothes mature women dancing in Chinese costumes
Women performing a Chinese veil dance in Chinese costumes
Indian singer in traditional dress
Indian singer in traditional clothes
women performing belly dance
Belly dancers performing in traditional clothes
Alaska's First Lady in an Alaska parka
Alaska’s First Lady Ms Walker giving a welcome note on behalf of her husband, the Governor. She is wearing a modern version of an Alaska parka

Which of the traditional clothes is your favorite? Do you like traditional food? What’s your favorite ethnic dish? Let me know, I am curious.

When you like the post, let your friends know by tweeting them to have a look at these awesome ethnic clothes!

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Photos: N. Mölders

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