Steinbach Christmas Party with the SouthEastMan Filipino Association!

It’s easy to think that Steinbach is still chock-full of Russian Mennonites…and sure, there are lots here…but it’s actually become quite diverse! The local Filipino population in particular is very large and well-established. SEMFA (SouthEastMan Filipino Association) is a real testament to that fact. Andrew and I were thrilled to be guests at their annual Christmas Party! Here’s a peek inside…

The singing of the Filipino national anthem.
Buffet catered by The Flour Connection (hello pancit!) of Steinbach, and Foodie Panda of Niverville. (Andrew and I have decided we really need to visit Foodie Panda!)
Los Amigos were the first band to hit the stage, performing a terrific selection of covers. They’re really good!
The best part was when all the kids ran up to the stage and started enthusiastically dancing to “Silent Night”. (I’d always thought it was a lullaby. Not anymore!)
The event was catered by Aimee from The Flour Connection (Filipino bakery in downtown Steinbach, near the clocktower). I’m addicted to the siopao (meat buns) that she makes, and so I visit her bakery almost every day.
One of the event sponsors, The Flour Connection: Baking Your Ideas To Life! Yay Aimee!
I am not shy about taking dessert. I think my favourite was the meringue-custard tart (my words, not hers). I’m going to ask Aimee about this later. I do know she makes amazing meringues…but I’m usually so busy eating her siopao that I overlook them.

While I have stated above that Steinbach has become pretty diverse, I will also say that this is the first time, here at home, that I’ve been at a very large event which wasn’t dominated by white Mennos. And it was awesome. Festive. Exuberant. Fun!

One of the emcees, Ryjan, kinda knows Andrew, so he spoke with us for awhile, and told us a few things about The Philippines, which I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Like…did you know that Tagalog isn’t their national language? It’s actually Filipino!

Every little bit I learn, enhances our conversations, and leads to more questions to ask. I’m looking forward to learning more about our Filipino neighbours in 2019!

Ultimately, I think this cake says it best!