People from different ethnic backgrounds have come together for a community celebration of diversity in Derry.
Margaret Cunningham, Community Assistant for Habinteg House organised, the ‘Welcome to Our World’ celebration, which took place at Habinteg House in Farland Way, Hazelbank recently.
Residents from the area mingled with others living locally and further afield, with people of African, Mexican, Filipino, Indian, Iraqi, Canadian, American., Polish, English and Irish descent among those taking part.
Margaret, who organises a community day every year, said she was “really proud” of how this year’s event turned out. “We have done the Big Lunch every year and it’s about getting neighbours together, sitting down with a cuppa and a bite to eat, but this time I thought, let’s think outside the box, think globally but act locally.”
Margaret said she wanted to give people the chance to explore and appreciate different cultures. “We are a multi- cultural society and understanding people and their cultures helps us to grow and celebrate diversity,” she said.
Those taking part, including Mayor John Boyle, were put through their paces with some traditional Irish and step dancing, Filipino bamboo dancing, Cuban Salsa, American Jive and Hip Hop, the Spanish Paso Doble and even the New Zealand Haka, under the tutelage of Turlough O’Neill from Newry, local tutor Emma Lindsay, and young Ella Campbell from Farland Way, among others.
All those who came also brought food they prepared, while Ballymagroarty Women’s Group assisted with the inhouse cooking. Globe table decorations meanwhile helped children in attendance explain to each other about their roots around the world.
Margaret thanked the Women’s Group, the Mayor and all the Councillors, local businesses, local residents and participants who helped make the day such a special occasion.