Islamabad -Come winter, and morning walks, afternoon picnics, and high-cholesterol dinners become a treat for the residents of Islamabad. To avail the season to the fullest, families enjoy a list of outdoor activities in the morning and afternoon such as walks in park. For indoor activities, people enjoy culinary delights such as nihari and haleem during the night. Islamabad is lucky to experience all four seasons around the year and every season brings with it something to rejoice and celebrate. 

To celebrate the winter season, Pakistan Foreign Officers Women Association and the Diplomatic Core organized a big funfair on the beautifully manicured lawns of the Foreign Office building in G-5, last weekend. The guests arrived in hoards at this well-organised affair; the locals and diplomats represented at the PFOWA were almost equal in number. Stalls of Saudi Arabia, China, Romania, Uzbekistan, and Egypt stood out amongst others. However, Indonesia drew in the highest number of guests and managed to carve a niche over other countries displaying their products. 

Ambassador of Indonesia, Iwan Suyudhie Amri, was at the helm of affairs and was hospitable towards all the guests. Nasi Goreng, a fragrant rice dish, was being served hot to the guests. It came with a choice of chicken, beef or prawn and was garnished with shredded eggs such as omelet.

The rice was cooked in a much different manner than the average banaspati rice.  The long grain rice was cooked and chilled for an hour after which chopped chilies and vinegar were mixed with it. Golden brown fried shallots were used for garnishing to induce a crispy and crunchy texture to the dish before it was served with satay in form of beef, chicken or fish on a small size skewers. 

The chicken was tender and filled with flavors of Indonesian spices. At the next door Chinese stall, Chinese cabbage rolls and corn bread were the hottest selling items which went out of stock in no time.

A thin dough roll, size of a chapatti, was brushed with a secret Chinese sauce and filled with crisps iceberg dipped in a seasoning.  This fresh and healthy vegetable delight is probably the secret to the slimness of Chinese people. Cuban ambassador, Gabriel Tiel Capote, dressed in a traditional white shirt was introducing the famous cigars to the guests such as Rome and Juliet, and Cohibas. “Try this Cohiba, it was Castro’s favorite brand”, chanted the ambassador making a sales pitch. Launched in 1966, this Havanas premier brand is now considered to be among the finest and one of the most expensive in the world.

Lebanese, Egyptian, Tajik, Bangladesh and Thai stalls had food as well as handicrafts on display. Traditional ornaments, oil paintings from Romanian artists, Indonesian boutiques and Thai salad were all the takeaway items for guests at the event.

Cultural shows such as traditional Tunisian and Uzbek dance performances and other musical performances from participating countries pulled a throng of crowd in the adjunct lawns of the foreign office.