Just before the holidays, I was invited to one of those evenings that happen "only in Tirol": music and singing mixed with food, a good measure of drink, and a lot of friends to chat with.
Local choirs got together and were joined by a few refugee musicians, who brought their instruments and played traditional music. What a treat!
As Tiroleans do, the audience sits at tables, the bar provides food as well as drinks, and after a short while it feels like a party. Austrians sure know how to party :-)
Along with the frankfurters and the pretzels, we got a taste of Syrian cuisine. Including what was possibly the best baklava I ever had! These guys can play, and my goodness they can cook, too.
And when everyone had settled their menus... it was time to start the music. I always feel this is such a civilized way to do concerts.
Grand Master Andres directed the choirs, the audience and the children running on stage. As always, photos do little to convey the quality of the music, but I hope you get the feeling of how much fun this was. In the end everyone was singing along, of course, in the best Tirolean tradition.
But the best thing of all was to see the boys mixing with the locals, laughing, as carefree as could possibly be. Happy to share their music and their food with us, standing tall for all the compliments they got. It was possible, for a moment, to forget what they've been through and all the difficulties they still face before they're allowed to settle in this country. They have so much to give, they have so much potential.
I'm working on a photography project to make a difference for them. If you want to follow it, please like my facebook page and sign up for my newsletter and you'll be notified as soon as it goes live. You will love it :)
You can see all the photos from this evening HERE.