Focal Point

“Soup is the song of the hearth….and the home” (The Soup-Book 1949)

Wherever you go, as in my case in La Roche-en-Ardenne, in the province of Luxembourg, in the French part of Belgium, or in the Sultanate of Oman in the Arabian Peninsula, every culture has her own types of soup. Every cultural festival in Muscat or Salalah, has soup in the offer. This weekend, on 26 and 27 September, in la Roche-en-Ardenne, for the 12th time, there was the ‘Festival de la Soupe.’ The idea of the festival was brought to La Roche from Cevennes in France and was locally adapted. The concept of this annual Festival in La Roche in ‘Parc en Rompré’ on the banks of the River Ourthe organized by the ‘Syndicat d’Initiative de La Roche-en-Ardenne’ with about 20 volunteers and restaurant managers, is already twelve years the same. Saturday is family day, Sunday is competition day. Free entry and a ‘tasting bowl’ (for every year another colour) at a low price give families, couples and individuals the possibility to try out as many of the soups that are created by restaurant managers from La Roche. Traditional and lesser traditional soup contest takes place at Sunday. Beside a specialised jury, there is also the public who can choose the ‘best soup’ or the ‘best stand.’ The 11 jury members also assess the friendliness of the participants towards the visitors. The partakers this year were associations, tourists groups, students, friends, families, who participated already from the beginning, eight years, seven years, three years, two years…Of course the best are rewarded, but at the end the ambiance, the fun, the friendship is more important. And what unites the Festival de la Soupe’ in La Roche-en-Ardenne with the soup tasting at the cultural festivals in the Sultanate of Oman is the concept of hospitality and generosity.

 

Before the festival

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Saturday, Family day

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Sunday, competition day

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