The Middle Eastern Cultural Festival, a daylong festival, is officially launched by Hon Michael Atkinson MP, Minister for Cultural Affairs, and Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone. Following the speeches school choirs sing traditional and contemporary songs and traditional music and dance from Kurdistan, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan also entertain the crowds. Proud parents, grandparents and community members’ record performances on camera, clap with the music and ululate in celebration of the young, brightly dressed performers.
Once the soul is nourished, there is plenty of food to choose with a range of community groups supplying sweet and savoury delicacies. The Iranian Community, Persian Women’s Group, Afghan Women’s Federation, Muslim Women’s Association, Kurdish and Turkish Communities of South Australia and Egyptian Community Food all have a presence, offering Moroccan rice, fresh figs, plenty of baklava, halal ice cream and the obligatory thick, sweet Turkish coffee to name but a few of the choices to be made. Also a selection of clothes, crafts and rugs are offered for purchase. Balloons, henna painting and badge making are a hit with the kids.
Aside the cultural exchange, there is also information exchange promoting community and government services across the board in support of youth, eduction, health, employment, migration and refugee services. To name a few; the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, Migrant Resource Centre of South Australian, the Islamic and Burc College, Karawaan Radio, and Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance Rehabilitation Service.
The festival not only celebrates No-Rooz but also diverse communities, cultures, religions and traditions. Whatever the reasons for individuals and families being in Adelaide, the Middle Eastern Cultural Festival shows support and sharing through advocacy, information and coming together to celebrate diversity and communities rejoicing together.
Middle Eastern Communities Council of South Australia in association with the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia and Adelaide Festival Centre presents
2007 Middle Eastern Cultural Festival
Venue: Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza
Date/Times: Saturday 31 March 11am – 4pm