Culture on display: Dozens of embassies to open their doors to visitors this weekend

This weekend, over 60 of D.C.’s more than 175 embassies will welcome visitors inside during the annual Passport DC Around the World Embassy Tour.

Passport DC includes a host of events this month, including the Saturday, May 6, embassy tour that’s curated by Events DC to encourage and inspire residents to learn about the District’s diplomatic community.

“I love the cultural diversity and the inclusiveness,” Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates said. “This gives us an opportunity and the embassies an opportunity to just share their culture and what their country has to offer.”

Participants can expect to learn about cultural traditions through food, fashion, art and music. In previous years, embassies have held karate demonstrations, K-pop dance competitions and sari wrapping lessons.

There is also a physical souvenir passport that participants are encouraged to use as they tour the embassies. An interactive map is also available to help visitors navigate the embassies while touring.

As preparation begins for Saturdays festivities, WTOP spoke with a few ambassadors to the United States about what to expect during guests visits to embassies.

“We’ll have stations where you will see and witness the diversity of Colombia,” Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia said during WTOP’s visit. “Also, you’ll have the opportunity to taste our Colombian food.”

Ambassador Murillo Urrutia, a history maker in his own right, will be there meeting visitors. He’s the first-ever Afro-Descendant Colombian Ambassador to the U.S.

When visitors stop by, they’ll be able to explore “Colombia: Land of Diversity,” an exhibit of the country’s vast array of experiences while sampling Colombian coffee. The embassy is also hosting a “Picture Yourself in Colombia” social media photo competition.

For over a decade, the Embassy of Oman has been participating in Passport DC events, and they are pleased to welcome guests to the culture center this weekend.

“We’ve prepared a lot of cultural programs to introduce Oman,” Moosa Hamdan Al Tai, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States said.

Activities for adults and children will be offered.

“We have Arabic Calligraphy, where they can write their name in Arabic, and music. A lot about Oman and the Middle East to be introduced,” The ambassador said. “I hope when they walkout, they learn something more and that will be a bridge between our culture, the United States and our country.”

Here’s what to know if you plan on participating in the Passport DC Around the World Embassy Tour:
  • Admission: Admission is free but reservations are recommended
  • Event Time: Embassies are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)
  • Getting there: Many embassies are within walking distance of the Dupont Circle and Van Ness/UDC Metro stations
  • Parking: Street parking is available but difficult at many embassy locations
  • Souvenir passports: They’ll be available at the Dupont Circle and Van Ness Information booths
Erron Franklin

Erron Franklin is a Social Media & Video Editor with WTOP News. Prior to joining WTOP, he worked in public affairs programming at C-SPAN.

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