Syracuse Communities Observe WRD


More than two dozen refugee communities came together in Syracuse, NY to mark World Refugee Day 2013 on June 22nd.

World Refugee Day celebrations in Syracuse, NY (Picture courtesy: City of Syracuse Flickr)
World Refugee Day celebrations in Syracuse, NY (Picture courtesy: City of Syracuse Flickr)

The celebrations formally began at around 10.30 am at the premises of North side CYO from where around five hundred people marched to the City Hall. Lulu Nyaw, a former refugee from Burma raised the UN Flag at the city hall.

Habiba Baru from Oromo Community representing all refugee communities thanked the city of Syracuse for giving a shelter to such a diverse population. Jai Subedi, a former refugee from Bhutan hosted the event and at the city hall he also introduced the Mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie Miner to the communities.

The parade reached Hanover Square at 11:45 am where people from sixteen communities presented dances and music; and the group was later joined by participants from eleven more countries.

Syracuse communities were also seen enjoying ethnic food from seven different countries. Also, high school graduates from different refugee communities were honored during the event.

This year’s WRD celebration that has a theme, “1 family torn apart by war is too many” was designed in Syracuse jointly by Interfaith Works (Center For New Americans), Catholic Charities of Onondaga County (North Side CYO),North side Urban Partnership, Refugee Assistance Program,White Branch Library and Hope Print.

Interestingly, Syracuse is one of the few places where refugee communities have been observing WRD every year. Following refugee resettlement in different countries, WRD that falls on June 20 every year seems to be loosing ground among many resettled folks.