Intercultural events and activities 2010/2011
Festival of India - April 18
Chinese New Year
St Georges Market, 6 February 2011
Chinese Welfare Association was established in 1986 as the main regional community organisation supporting the Chinese community in Northern Ireland. There are over 10,000 Chinese people in Northern Ireland with origins in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. There too are many oversees students studying at the University of Ulster and Queen´s University, Belfast. The Chinese community would be one of the oldest minority ethnic communities living in Northern Ireland; with the first Chinese members coming to Northern Ireland in the 1960´s. The Chinese community is now into the 3rd and 4th generation in Northern Ireland.
The Equality Commission partnered with Chinese Welfare Association for this event to celebrate in style and welcome in the Year of the Rabbit which promises good luck and prosperity. The Equality Commission provided support for the distribution of postcards and billboards advertisements across Belfast. We not only reached a vast number of individuals across Belfast but reached out to over 6000 attendees at this event making a stand and information available also.
Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the Lunar New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. It is also known as the Spring Festival and is the most important annual festival for Chinese people, symbolizing renewal and family reunion. Traditionally, weeks before the New Year, people spring clean their houses and enjoy a family get-together meal on New Year´s Eve. The rest of the New Year festival is spent visiting relatives and friends, exchanging presents and good wishes. Children are given ´li-see´, lucky money in red envelopes.
For further information on Chinese Welfare Association including Chinese New Year, visit their website at www.cwa-ni.org
To view the press release of the event Click here
Established in 1994, the Really Rubbish Orchestra is a community music group who research, design and reproduce waste materials into musical instruments through creative workshops. The main feature of the workshops is to become part of an orchestra, using the different designs of instruments to tell improvised stories from different cultures with sound, usually without much rehearsal.
The instrument designs range from drums through tuned percussion recolaphones and simple flutes, made from plastic bottles to amplified stringed guitar type instruments made from planks and skateboards.
In partnership with the Equality Commission, The Really Rubbish Orchestra are holding workshops to research, design, produce and build 4 tube drums. Delegates from different cultures living in Northern Ireland are coming together to produce drums they are calling “Belfast Titanic Drums”.
The “Belfast Titanic Drums” along with their already produced instruments, will be showcased:-
On: Sunday, 21 November
In: St George’s Market, Belfast
At: 11 00 am – 3 00 pm
with a multi-cultural Samba Band mini festival finale performance from 1 00 pm.To view a recording displaying the creation of the Really Rubbish Orchestra click here.
For further information on the Really Rubbish Orchestra contact Maurice or Irene on email@example.com
Date: Thursday, 18 November 2010 at 9 45 am - 1 00 pm
Location: Training Room, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland Equality House, 7-9 Shaftesbury Square, BELFAST, BT2 7DP
If you would like to learn more about different cultures and attend this event email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to the following organisations for delivering the training:
- An Munia Tober
- Chinese Welfare Association
- Polish Community
Diwali, also called Deepavali, is a major Indian festival. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dipa or deeya (earthen lamp). Fireworks are associated with the festival. While Deepavali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant esoteric meaning is "the awareness of the inner light".
In partnership with the Equality Commission, the Indian Community Centre are celebrating this auspicious event with a gorgeous cultural programme, including dance both traditional and modern, music both vocal and instrumental, performed by artists from Northern Ireland and the rest of UK. With top dignitaries in attendance, they are inviting all communities to come and enjoy the very essence of India and its culture through dance, music, drama - a gala of cultural variety and spice it up with delicious Indian food!! It´s a day for all to come together and enlighten with the spirit of light!
On 9 November each year the UNITED network organises a European-wide campaign to commemorate the past and to protest against contemporary forms of fascism and anti-Semitism. For more information about the day visit www.unitedagainstracism.org
The Equality Commission is marking this day by launching their 1st Race "Who Wants to be a Millionaire " Quiz. Unlike the televised programme there is no monetary prize. However, the Equality Commission is providing free Cultural Awareness Training so you can learn more about cultures living within Northern Irelandnd.
World Freedom Day - 9 November
The anniversary to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 is celebrated as World Freedom Day. On the international calendar 9 November is marked by organisations releasing white balloons commemorating the importance of this historical date as World Freedom Day.
To learn more about this historical day visit www.worldfreedomday.org
Friday, 1 October 2010
1000 pre-school children came together on Friday, 1 October 2010 from the Greater Belfast area to Belfast´s Ormeau Park to celebrate the success of the Early Years´ Respecting Difference Programme. The respecting difference programme, which aims to tackle sectarianism, racism and bullying at a very early age, has proven to be very successful in terms of supporting young children recognise difference and respect difference. This initiative has been a huge success across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, and has won international plaudits.
Supporting the "Respecting Difference" programme, the Equality Commission actively participated with the pre-school children in workshops with the use of their pre-school materials at the event.
The fun day featured a whole range of attractions including basketball, Bollywood dancing, Irish dancing and face painting. The event also featured shows and activities from Egypt, Ukraine, India, China, Ireland, Poland, Argentina and Spain.
Rachel, Caitlan and Connor - St Plunkett´s Primary School
For further details on the Respecting Difference Programme and the work of Early Years, contact:
6c Wildflower Way
Tel: 028 90 662 825
Fax: 028 90 381 270
International Day of Peace
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
The International Day of Peace is observed each year on 21 September and is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. The theme this year is "Youth for Peace and Development".
The International Day of Peace provides and opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on one specific day across the world and promote their slogan "peace = future, the maths is easy".
Unite Against Hate, Beyond Skin, Belfast East Project, Belfast Metropolitan College and the Equality Commission worked in partnership to promote the International Day of Peace Concert at Belfast Metropolitan College on 21 September 2010 to mark this day.
Multicultural bands as well as Belfast singers and songwriters, Jonny Nixon and Aidan Logan performed in support of International Day of Peace. Belfast Met students also performed a drum composition with Ghanaian drummers as well as voices from a 60 piece local community choir celebrated this day.
Montgomery Road, Belfast BT6 9JD
028 9079 7144
Belfast Carnival Centre
11-47 Boyd Street
07877 756 987
please visit www.uniteagainsthate.org.uk or join the Unite against Hate Facebook page.
For further information contact Donna Fullerton at the Equality Commission on 028 90 500 604 or email at email@example.com
Festivals provide space for many communities to showcase and celebrate their own unique culture, supporting our vision of a peaceful, stable and inclusive society where individuality is respected and diversity celebrated. Festivals also provide a platform for local and international talent, and help brand Belfast as a welcoming and vibrant city. They drive tourism and contribute significantly to the local economy.
As the largest multicultural festival in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Mela brings together audiences and participants from across Belfast and from over 40 different nations and inclusive of 11-12 different cultures. This is all showcased through dance, fashion, carnival, music, art, craft and food. It celebrates all that makes Belfast unique and helps our citizenry positively embrace that difference.
Belfast Mela has attracted up to 20,000 people at any one festival from all communities living within Northern Ireland and visitors to this beautiful country from across the world. As a partner in the Belfast Mela it gives the Equality Commission a great opportunity to reach out to the whole community and promote the What colours your judgement project. People from all communities are given the opportunity to tell us of existing or emerging equality issues as well as discovering the role of the Commission and how we can assist them.
For further information on the Equality Commission’s What Colours Your Judgement project, contact Donna Fullerton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (028) 90 500 604.
An estimated 40,000 Snow Patrol fans descended on Bangor for a huge outdoor concert in the Ward Park on Saturday, 5 June. During the concert Unite Against Hate volunteers distributed thousands of wristbands to Snow Patrol fans whilst stickers located around the concert venue raised awareness of the campaign.
Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody threw his weight behind Unite Against Hate campaign. Gary agreed to back the campaign which seeks to eradicate all forms of hate crime and encouraged fans at Ward Park to ´unite´ as one audience.
Supporting the initiative Gary said, "A campaign such as this is well needed and timely. Myself and the band were disgusted when some negative headlines about Northern Ireland reached international media. People here are welcoming and friendly and there is no place for hate crime in Northern Ireland. We will help where we can and we certainly endorse all your efforts."
During the concert Unite volunteers from all walks of life, including representation from one of the founding campaign partners the Equality Commission, distributed thousands of wristbands to Snow Patrol fans whilst posters and leaflets located around the concert venue raised awareness of the campaign and its objectives. Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants in the Bangor area were also stocked with Unite beer mats and other material to help promote the ´Unite´ message.
25,000 wristbands were handed out in the first two and half hours and the response from the fans was very positive. Many fans asked for more information about the campaign and the Equality Commission´s role.
Some of the comments received via the Unite Against Hate Facebook page are listed below:
"Wow ! All round great, well done. Gary and all volunteers. Let´s be united !"
"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have!"
"i´m a community volunteer....where can i get some to hand them out round the whiteabbey area ?
"Wow! 25,000 (wristbands) great achievement!"
For further information about the Unite against Hate campaign or the work of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland contact us:
Tel 02890 890 890
or by email to Donna Fullerton: email@example.com
Craigavon Polish Community Group & Extended Polish Saturday School, Lurgan
Craigavon Polish Community Group (CPCG) has been in existence for 3 years and are members of Craigavon Intercultural Programme (CIP) working in partnership to promote multicultural events in the area. CPCG is the representative body for Polish migrants in Craigavon. Their role is to support Polish people who are looking information on:-
They also promote Polish culture and traditions, develop and run exhibitions and events as well as promoting good relations and integration for everyone.
CPCG now run an Extended Polish Saturday School (EPSS) reaching out to Polish kids within the Portadown, Craigavon and Lurgan area who have come to live in Northern Ireland and speak English. The school teaches children the Polish (mother tongue) language which they have either forgotten or wish to learn. They have currently 36 children from 4-17 years learning Polish language, literature, history and geography. The school also offers Polish language classes to other communities living in Northern Ireland who wish to learn Polish for pleasure.
Click here to view photographs taken at the Saturday School.
For further information contact:
Extended Polish Saturday School
SRC Kithen Hill
Extended Polish Saturday School
For further information about the Extended Polish Saturday School visit their website - www.psni.biznesbaza.com
For further information on the Craigavon Polish Community Group contact them at 16a Mandeville Street, LURGAN
On Sunday, 30 May 2010, the Afro-Community Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) in partnership with the Equality Commission, hosted their first ever Africa Day celebrations entitled “AFRICA ALSO SMILES” at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast from 2 pm – 7 pm. The aim of this event was to promote the diversity of African and Carribbean culture in the city and to promote integration, awareness, better understanding, good relations and cohesion between all communities in Northern Ireland.
Click here to view a slideshow of the event.
The Afro-Community Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) was formed in July 2003 as an independent community-based organisation, because the Afro-Community today is estimated in excess of 6,000, information on the life and experiences of African, Carribean and other Afro-descendants in Northern Ireland is virtually non-existent. The aim of ACSONI is to promote good relations and cultural diversity in Northern Ireland. They are committed to working in partnership and engaging with the wider community raising awareness of issues relating to Africans, Afro-Americans, Afro-Europeans, Carribeans and all other Afro-descendants and associated people living in Northern Ireland and their families.
For further information click on the following links;
Click here for a report on the Africa Week celebrations
Polish Cultural Week is a presentation of the best Polish art and culture in the capital of Northern Ireland aiming to enhance a better understanding of Poland past and present, to give an insight into the Polish way of life and thinking and to bring communities closer together.
The programme of the IV Polish Cultural Week has been developed by the Artlinks and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw as a part of Polska! Year
Click on the following links for more information.
The Indian Community Centre is a voluntary organisation which was established in 1981 in the Carlisle Methodist Memorial Church Hall. The centre works towards the promotion and greater understanding of Indian Culture and Traditions in Northern Ireland. They also seek to create and build upon relationships with the wider Northern Ireland community, and reflect upon the changing diversity of our society.
For the 2nd year in succession, the Commission developed a joint partnership project with the Indian Community Centre and provided support for the distribution of leaflets to households across Belfast. Through this project we not only reach a vast number of homes across Belfast but reach out to over 5,000 attendees at this event through our activities, information available on our stand as well as speaking with staff.
To view a full page slideshow of the Festival of India event click here
Click here for an Evaluation of the Festival of India
For further information on the Indian Community Centre or the Festival of India, please visit their website at www.iccbelfast.com
Sunday, 29 August 2010, 12 noon – 6 pm
Great Lawn, Botanic Gardens, Belfast