‘Mela On the Street’ to celebrate world culture

A special event which will celebrate world culture has been launched.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 10:02 am
Group pictured at the recent launch of Mela on the Street; a celebration of cultures that will take place on the Bishop Street interface on Sunday 8th September next from 2pm -6pm. Included in the picture are Sonia Hill, from the Good Relations Executive Office, the event sponsors, Mark H. Durkan MLA, Pauline ONeill, DCSDC Good Relations and representatives of participating groups. DER3019GS-061

‘Mela On The Street’ will take place on Sunday, September 8 from 2pm to 6pm on Bishop Street Without.

“It’s a celebration of world culture,” said Sophie Blake-Gallagher, Peace Walls Development Worker.

The event, organised by Triax Neighbourhood Management Team and the Peace Walls project. It’s funded by the International Fund for Ireland.

“It aims to bring together people from all backgrounds for a cultural street party, in an area that was once seen as a contentious interface.

“Building on work that we have been doing with Peace IV that involves engaging ethnic minority groups at a community level, ‘Mela On The Street’ was born out of one our most successful events - Around the World.

“At that event we had a family fun day in the Gasyard, bringing the culture and food of 10 different groups in Derry. This is an extension of it.

“‘Mela On The Street’ will involve world entertainment, foods of the world including food from Syria, Bangladesh, Italy, China and Japan.

“There will also be fun fair rides, arts and crafts, cultural performances and fun for all the family to enjoy,” said Sophie.

In the lead up to the event, groups from the city, including NW Islamic Association, Cathedral Youth Club, Bishop’s Street Youth Club, Newbuildings Youth Club, Pink Ladies and Destined have all met with groups from a range of different cultures who are based in the city.

“The groups have been taking part in workshops to be able to add background knowledge before the event, and also raise understanding and awareness of ethnic minority groups in Derry. This will be the first of hopefully many Mela’s to come,” added Sophie.

The funding for the ‘Mela On The Street’ is provided by the Executive Office Good Relations Department.

The Around the World family event was held in the Gasyard in January, and was very well attended.

“We had a lot of positive feedback from the event, with a lot of people giving us feedback telling us that they wanted more events of a similar nature, focusing on cultural expression. We recognised that people want their children to grow up in an inclusive and diverse society, and events such as this that explore diversity are received with open arms by the local community. Because of language barriers, some ethnic minority groups might not feel comfortable coming into venues such as the Gasyard, so it’s about making links, especially between children and people from different backgrounds,” she added.

‘Mela On The Street’ will take place on Sunday, September 8, from 2pm to 6pm.

There will be a host of activities, and also a wide range of food, cookery demonstrations and free samples to try out on the day.