Lithgow’s cultural diversity was celebrated last week at the Lithgow Library and Learning Centre.
This year marked the 15th Anniversary of Harmony Day, and it was a great success, with a record number of people getting behind and embracing the annual event.
The program for Harmony Day comprised a variety of speeches, presentations and performances. There was a warm welcome by Aunty Helen from Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation, didgeridoo by local Aboriginal musician Bob Sutor, Chinese fan dancing by Lithgow resident Livia, a ‘Cultural Perspectives’ presentation by Lithgow resident Deb Rayner, an Eastern European song duet by Ariel Elliot and Sue Hiscock, and finally a touching real life story by local resident, Salwa.
Salwa is a Yazidi woman from Northern Iraq who has recently sought refuge and settled in Lithgow with her family. “The thing I love most about Lithgow is the people. They are embracing of other peoples’ cultures, religions and traditions. They are warm and kind. I feel very welcome here.” The Yazidi are a peaceful Kurdish religious community of just under 1 million people who have lived in northern Iraq for thousands of years.
Harmony Day 2015 was organised by Lithgow Council in partnership with the Multicultural Community Group based at the Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre (LINC). The Multicultural Community Group meets fortnightly on a Monday at LINC to enjoy different activities such as cooking, Chinese fan dancing, craft making, sharing stories, and engaging in topical discussions, while developing a strong sense of camaraderie and belonging.
Lithgow is fast becoming a culturally diverse town which supports and celebrates its unique way of life while coming together as one community. To join the Multicultural Community Group please call Pim Attapron or Kim Scanlon at LINC on 6354 5910. For further information on Harmony Day or information related to support services for Lithgow’s culturally diverse community please call Council’s Community Development Officer, Viktoria Gulabovski on 6354 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.