As a project officer at the UNE International Hub and organiser of Thursday’s 2018 Cultural Fest held in the Armidale Mall, Iranian born Dunya Alruhaimi said she was very pleased to see the collaboration and the engagement between the international and local communities at the event.
“To see people come along and celebrate their culture and the multiculturalism of the Armidale community was fantastic,” Dunya said.
Dunya said she had held concerns about differences between some of the cultures who attended.
“Especially for those two or three countries who are neighbours who had a problem between each other, but last night it was fantastic.” she said
“I saw lots of people from different cultures who are neighbours collaborate together and communicate between themselves and enjoy the night.
“This is one of the objectives of the event. Just to let people to come along and forget about politics, religion and things. Just come along and enjoy the human life.
Lots of volunteers signed in to help.Dunya Alruhaimi
Dunya said she was stopped by many people who congratulated her on the event.
“One of them said they hoped it would be every month,’” she said.
Armidale Shire Council gave the event in-kind support by removing the cost of booking the venue, providing a face painter and a huge number of rubbish bins.
“Yesterday I got a lot of help from volunteers who made the event easier for me. Last year I struggled with transport and organisation and lots of things, but this year was much easier.”
I think we could carry this on and grow it. You look at any other town around here. Do they have this?Cr Simon Murray
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said he was blown away by all the people who turned up to sample the cuisine and the number of colourful costumes present at the event.
“I think there is like 57 different nationalities in Armidale, or heading up to that number. Not all of them were showcased yesterday, but a lot were,” Cr Murray said.
“It allowed people just to walk around and see some of the different costumes and exchange in discussions with the people in the stalls.”
There is no better way to celebrate multiculturalism than a plateful of tucker because food speaks all languages.Adam Marshall
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall thought the event was magnificent. He said it was the very best of community, as people turned out for the event.
“Hundreds and hundreds of people, the diversity, everybody’s happy and celebrating multiculturalism,” he said.
“Because Armidale is the most multicultural inland city in NSW and tonight it is all on show.”