Armidale showed its multicultural heart at Carnivale, the festival of ethnic dance, music and food, at the Town Hall last night.
Aboriginal elder Steve Widders gave the traditional welcome to country, on behalf of the Anaiwan nation and Multicultural NSW.
“Armidale,” Mr Widders said, “is one of the most diverse cities in Australia, with at last count 70 different nationalities – and if that doesn’t add to the richness of the city, I’m not sure what does!”
Some of those nationalities danced and performed music, including Aboriginal, Sri Lankan, and Indian dancers, and a Filipino fashion parade showcasing centuries of costumes.
Some brave souls from the audience joined them on the dance floor, learning how to leap over Vietnamese poles, bellydance, or move like a Bollywood crowd.
Outside, stallholders from the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Iraq, Thailand, and Turkey braved the day’s wintry weather to sell their country’s specialities, including falafels, satay, samosas, and gozlemes – served piping hot!
Carnivale Armidale was supported by the Armidale Regional Council, Northern Settlement Services (NSS), Sanctuary Services Inc. (SSI), Multicultural NSW, NSW Justice, Readers’ Companion, and Karbullah Poll Merino Stud.