Congratulations to the Multicultural Group of Eurobodalla and Far South Coast for an auspicious and extraordinary inaugural event last Saturday.
OH, WHAT A NIGHT! It is a rare day indeed that so much cultural diversity can draw people so tightly together with such joy, warmth and harmony. However, this is just what happened at the Inaugural Cultural Diversity Event last Saturday night, organised by the Multicultural Group of Eurobodalla and Far South Coast. Over 200 people attended the night, including the Mayor, Liz Innes, who opened the evening after an Acknowledgement of Country by Gray Ceniza and a welcome by MCs, Ethyl Ceniza and Chris Meade. While many hands did make light work to see this signature event come to fruition, it was Jan Frikken who was the driving force. Ms Frikken, a 2019 Local Hero Award nominee for her work with migrant communities and towards multi-culturalism envisaged the coming together of all local cultural groups to celebrate our rich and diverse community. Her vision paid off as the most wonderful night was had by all. Guests were treated to spectacular dances from around the globe: the colourful and intricate performances by Filipina, Indonesian, Lao, and Thai dancers were matched by the entrancing Sapphire Tribal Bellydancers. Equally impressive was the musical performance by local musician, Damian Coen, on harmonica and the wonderful songs by Cha Monton. Such was the enthusiasm for these presentations that guests joined in on the dancefloor at various times as the mood took them. This was definitely a night when nobody went home hungry! Guests were delighted by the abundance of delicious homemade food from countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Greece, Thailand, Australia and more. Every plate was displayed beautifully with a description attached stating the country of origin and the name of the dish. Those attending were definitely spoilt for choice! Added to that was the very generous donation of multiple platters of seafood for the raffle. The spirit of community shone as attendees shared food, song and laughter while forging new friendships. The atmosphere in St Johns Greek Church hall was truly one of a community coming together to celebrate the joy of diversity and also, of generosity between people. It began with the kindness of the Greek Church in providing the space for the event, it continued with the hard work of all those who made the night happen, who decorated the church, who fed and entertained the guests and who cleaned up afterwards. But this sense of community was nowhere more evident than in the final dance from Ney Grullart from the Dominican Republic! People were singing and dancing in the aisles as the amazing mood of the evening culminated in Ney’s jubilant performance. Event organiser Jan Frikken told the Beagle "We are so lucky to be able to have a night like this where we celebrate the cultural diversity of the Eurobodalla Shire. The Eurobodalla and Far South Coast Multicultural Group has shown us how amazing things can happen when we, from diverse cultural groups, come together, support each other and work together to make a better community. "In light of such success, we look forward to many more multicultural events such as this. The Eurobodalla and Far South Coast Multicultural Group is always looking for new members so come and join us! "See our Facebook page “the Multicultural Group of Eurobodalla and Far South Coast”