Thursday, 5 June 2014

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Montreal: Tam Tams!

So finally the most exciting trip: Tam Tams.

What's interesting about this is that it doesn't show up on many (or any) of the "Things to Do in Montreal" guides. Thankfully I heard about this from my friend who raving about it, it was one of those you have to go kind of things. You just have to experience it! And she was right.

 This is a 5 second glimpse to provide you an idea of the atmosphere and surroundings! I wish I could have gotten more of the dancing but my phone encountered some problems.




Here's just a look to see how many people are here and how busy it is!

It's an all day event, and what it all comes to is that: everyone goes to the park on Sunday. See, it sounds boring - but it's really not. Finding something similar in Toronto is almost not possible. The whole even simply has its own culture. It's located at the George-√Čtienne Cartier Monument which is right on a large hill. And it's crazy because it seems like every meter of grass is covered by people! Everyone is pretty much doing their own thing, some people are lying down and tanning , some people are practicing yoga and some people are just hanging out with their friends. But right next to the Monument is the basis of Tam Tams, where there is a drum circle.

 It sounds bizarre, I've seen shows with drums or performances but never have I seen people just collectively banging their drums in sync together as a community. Anyone can join it seems, and they use any thing they wish to join in! Two men were using a garbage to form a distinct 'ding' with a stick of their choice. And to add on to that, people were just dancing in the middle to the music, they looked so relaxed and comfortable with themselves. It wasn't practiced jazz, or contemporary, or the fist-pumping 'dancing' at a lot of events these days, it was just people moving naturally to the sound of the beat. It was enthralling to watch. 

What is actually a key component to this event, and the basis for its relaxed-feel, may be the fact that the Montreal community is completely okay with responsible drinking and smoking. People are getting high and smoking pot, but they are careful not to disturb those around them. Others may just be sipping on a beer. I mean, here in Toronto that is looked down upon. Alcohol has to be consumed in private or at an LCBO licensed location and there isn't entire crowds of people smoking marijuana in public at parks.
A picture of someone slack-lining (not my picture).

Along one side side of the park was something interesting that only further added to my fascination with this event. Because there are many trees, and there is essentially a forest at the top, Montrealers have taken up the hobby of slack lining. I was surprised to see how many people had brought these 'ropes' and were practicing- either by themselves, or with friends. My friend actually just bought one and intended to re-learn how to walk across it having not done it for many years. People are extremely nice, we asked for help on how to set it up and they happily obliged. Some people were just learning like us, while others were extremely experienced with an extremely high rope and were capable of simply jumping onto it.

And lastly, right next to this area was something that cannot be mistakend for anything other than "LARP"ing. Live Action Role Playing. I actually participated in such an event earlier in the year as a Team-Building activity. I mean it sounds pretty bizarre at first but people fully got into it and it became a lot of fun. Everyone knows how passionate and 'ahead of the trend' Montrealers are so it's no wonder that it's become such a popular activity. Sorry if I didn't provide a detailed explanation! Essentially people actually dress up with all sorts of interesting costumes and 'gear'. It can be medieval theme or anything that they like,  they bring their own weapons (which are not dangerous)  and proceed to engage in fights with one another! It's pretty funny to watch actually, but I'm sure the people participating are having just as much fun. 


Tam Tams was so cool, and I wish I could only attend it every Sunday.

Do you have anything similar where you are from, or have you attended this event? Leave a comment :)!

2 comments:

  1. i thought these events or community only existed in the movies hehe. but one thing i really want to experience at least once in my life is to participate in a live action role playing. perhaps something medieval and fantasy-ish :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it was a super fun experience to take part in! It almost has a 'hippie' feel haha, and I hope you get the opportunity to try it out! Have you watched Game of Thrones before? I bet there are some crazy LARPing based off of it!

      Christy

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