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Multi-cultural festival descends on North Down

Published: Mon, 18 Sep 2017
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The event included an authentic Russian choir
There was a multi-cultural flavour to Ards and North Down with a festival celebrating all the ethnic minorities residing in the area.
The ‘My Space, My Future’ festival took place on Saturday 16th September, turning Bangor High Street into a sea of colour, music, dance and art. Those attending were given the opportunity to enjoy an authentic Russian choir, Polish and Bulgarian dancers and African drummers.
The festival was a treat for the tastebuds as well, with cuisine from Eastern Europe, India and further afield available for everyone to try. There was also opportunities for those attending to explore their creative side through Chinese Lantern Making and Henna Art workshops.
We provided over £2,000 through our Community Cohesion Unit to help explore, celebrate and positively promote various cultural traditions in North Down.
The event was run by the North Down YMCA, aiming to recognise the diverse society of Ards and North Down by bringing the community together in a safe and friendly environment.
Our Ards and North Down Area Manager Owen Brady said:
“The festival hopes to change attitudes to different cultural identities in communities, by promoting the rich ethnic diversity now living in North Down.
“We are working together with a number of partner agencies, who have worked tirelessly in creating a welcoming environment for both those visiting and those taking part in the festival.
“We hope the festival teaches the local community something new about other cultures, making everyone feel safe and empower people to get involved in local life.”
Mayor of Ards Robert Adair, local councillors & community representatives with the Rosinka Russian Community Choir at the inaugural Multi Cultural event
Event Organiser Monika Ciok-Giertuga, Bilingual Advocacy Worker with North Down YMCA added:
“The event aims to broaden the understanding and acceptance of other cultures in North Down and contribute towards the creation of more stable, safer and cohesive neighbourhoods.
"We hope it helps break down segregation and shape a common vision of a shared community and sense of belonging.
“I would like to thank all of the various communities for being part of this historic festival in North Down.
"There really is something for everyone; from fantastic cuisine to dance and music covering every corner of the globe. We really hope the people of North Down come and attend to show their support to our diverse community.
“The Housing Executive are helping foster vibrant communities by facilitating this event and their support in all aspects has been greatly welcomed.”