Albury Bhutanese host multicultural festival

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The Mirambeena Community Centre, Lavington in Southern New South Wales, was illuminated by a rainbow of colors on the weekend but not from drizzle amid sunlight in the horizon between the pots of gold.

This was the scene witnessed on October 5 at the Multicultural Festival celebration by Bhutanese in collaboration with people from various cultures clad in their traditional costumes from their former countries.

Artists in the stage
Artists in the stage

This was the first multicultural event organised by Bhutanese Association in Albury Inc. in Albury-Wodonga region, and on the eve of Dashain festival in conjunction with the fifth anniversary celebration of exiled Bhutanese resettlement in Albury-Wodonga, the first of its kind dated back to October 2008.

Bhutanese Association in Albury President, Teju Chouhan, said he hoped the celebration would help integrate communities on the Border.

He said that the aim of the event was to celebrate diversity, develop connections and foster partnerships with different cultural communities and encourage people to learn each other’s culture.

This program was a perfect occasion for attendees from diverse cultures experience cultural emersion breaking down barriers between cultures, foster conversation and understanding, one of the participants told Bhutan News Service.

“This was also a chance for the Bhutanese community to say thank you to those Humanitarian Settlement Services volunteers who made the transition easier for exiled Bhutanese families in the region,” explained Chouhan.

Chief guest with other guests during the festival
Chief guest with other guests during the festival

This event provided a day of entertainment and food- and showcased Australian, Bhutanese, Nepalese, African, Filipino, Bollywood, Maori dancing, New Zealander, Zumba and a whole host of vocal and musical entertainers that culminated into group dancing.

The Chief Guest of the event, Mayor Cr Kevin Mack from Albury City Council, highlighted the significance of multiculturalism and contribution made by Bhutanese community on the border.

“This is the sort of multicultural event that our community needs as it elaborates on diversity, richness and understanding it brings in the community,” Mack said.

The other key note speakers included Dr Guinever Threlkeld, Head of Campus, Latrobe University Albury-Wodonga, Deirdire Moulden, Humanitarina Selttlement Services, St Vincent de Paul Society and ESL Coordinator, Riverina Instute of Technical and Further Education(TAFE), Albury Campus

The event was sponsored by Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga Inc and supported by Albury-Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau and two local businesses.

The event received volunteer support from the 3 Star Sporting Club and event management assistance from Mabuhay Filipino Dance Group.

Over 500 people from different cultural communities from local Albury-Wodonga region attended the event.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a true way of how we have to introduce ourselves as well learn to embrace other wider communities. Well done Albury folks and kudos to Tulsi Guragai and Teju Chauwan for putting all your hard work. It is a lesson for so called settlement workers like Frank Jonhson to learn from these guys instead to acting master of nothing and fragmenting our people on vested interest for his own and impacting community who are innocent. Thank you Sue chamberlain for supporting behind the scene encouraging the community always in positive direction. I am happy to see the history coming back after BCA had done amazing work with the support of Teju , Lalit , Hema and others in Albury. Keep up the good work.
    Parsu