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CULTURE

The Virgen de la Peña square displays the village's multicultural side this weekend
11.07.14 - 12:51 -
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Round the world in Mijas
There will be music and dance performances from different countries. :: SUR
It is not often that you can try some Argentinian barbecued meat while you enjoy a German beer and watch some Irish dancing. However, that and much more will be possible from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July in the Plaza de la Peña in Mijas Pueblo, where the Feria Internacional de los Pueblos will be taking place. This is a very special event which pays tribute to all the different nationalities in the municipality, and it began more than 25 years ago in this village on the Costa del Sol.
Entry to the fair is free, so anybody is welcome to come along and discover the charms of about a dozen countries around the world. This year, Spain, Germany, Brazil, India, Cuba, Greece, Columbia, Jamaica, Uruguay, Argentina, Morocco and England will be represented, and the stalls will offer traditional foods as well as artisan crafts in the form of decorative items, jewellery and even clothing. On Friday, the first day, the event will take place between 7pm and 2am, while on Saturday and Sunday it will be open all day from 1pm to 2am.
There will be something new this year, as the fair is being included in the ‘Hecho en Mijas’ programme which aims to to boost the local economy. This will provide an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to promote their products and this charming square in Mijas will therefore also be the venue for an artisan market, with the participation of those who normally take part in the Hecho en Mijas fairs and other initiatives which are noteworthy for the quality of locally produced items.
International folklore
This festival of multiculturalism, which began more than a quarter of a century ago when Mijas council wanted to demonstrate to the world that it was possible for people of many different nationalities to coexist harmoniously in one place, includes live music and dance performances from the different countries among its many attractions. There will be shows throughout each day of the event on the main stage in the square, and these can also be enjoyed completely free of charge.
The change of date for this classic activity on the calendar of events in Mijas was due to its intention to attract as many visitors as possible, explained Manuel Navarro, who is in charge of the ‘Hecho en Mijas’ initative, during the official presentation of the Fair.
The second weekend of July was chosen because, according to data from the Municipal Tourist Office, this is when the municipality receives the greatest number of international and Spanish visitors.
For decades, there have been residents of different nationalities in the more than 147 square kilometres covered by the municipality of Mijas.
The latest statistics from the Foreigners Department show that people of more than 120 nationalities have decided to live in Mijas for different reasons.
Far from organising events which only bring together the members of one group, the local council organises activities all year round with the aim of providing something of interest for foreigners on one hand, while encouraging the rest of the local population, whether they were born and bred in Mijas or chose to live there, to discover the delights of other countries of the world on the other.
One example of these events is the series of celebrations which the council has been organising ever since its present mandate began, with a certain day dedicated to each of the countries with the greatest number of residents in the municipality.
So far, countries such as Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom have already celebrated their special days, as these take place all through the year.

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