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.
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.
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.