Harmony Day and Culture Fest

Harmony Day on 21 March inspired us to come together to celebrate the tapestry of traditions, and customs that make each of us unique, yet connected.

Enriching our lives with colours, flavours, and rhythms of the world

Our celebrations started with a tantalising array of food from around the world with members sharing their special dishes reflecting culinary ethnicities. We also had several demonstrations of cultural traditions that were held in the lower area of the Hub.

Chinese Calligraphy

Firstly, we had Chinese Calligraphy demonstrated by Patrick Kan. This is an art form that dates back millennia and embodies the essence of patience, precision, and elegance. The calligraphy brushes are made of wolf hair and the inksticks are made mainly of soot and animal glue. Some members were lucky enough to have their names translated into Chinese characters and drawn onto Xuan paper (which is made from tree bark) as a keepsake.

Greek costumes

Following this, traditional Greek costumes made by Maria Makrides and Thelma Rades were on display, one of which reflected the traditional costume created by Queen Amalia of Greece. There were also pieces of beautiful cross-stitch tablecloths and displays of crochet handicrafts made by Thelma.

Indian saris

Our next display involved the sari, a timeless symbol of Indian heritage, which characterises grace, tradition, and sophistication.

Learning to drape a sari is not merely a fashion statement, but a cultural rite passed down through generations. Marlene Fernandes showed the colourful styles and regional variations that characterise the different exquisite garments.

French poetry

Brigitte Ciurleo led a couple of her class members in reciting the classic French poem “The Cicada and the Ant” (“La Cigale et la Fourmi”) by Jean de la Fontaine, taking listeners on a lyrical journey of French literature.

Vietnamese and Indonesian dancing

In a change of pace, the rhythmic beats, and graceful movements of the Vietnamese dancers captured the essence of this Far East culture.

The participants from Lan Tiet’s line dancing class paraded in colourful and vibrant traditional Vietnamese costumes and performed to the sounds of Vietnamese music.

The Indonesian group formed by Yvonne Woon performed a popular, cheerful, and much-loved Indonesian dance called Poco Poco. The participants immersed themselves in the vibrant rhythms and before long the audience found themselves joining in the dance.

See the Photo Gallery of the Harmony Day event

Culture Fest at Strathdon House

The Whitehorse Council’s Culture Fest at the Strathdon House precinct on Sunday 24 March was a celebration of unity in diversity, where people from different backgrounds came together to share their traditions. Among the enthusiastic participation of various cultural groups, our U3A members offered a glimpse into their heritage through captivating performances and culinary delights.

Vibrant colours, culinary delights, and great entertainment

The splash of colour of Indian saris added atmosphere to the demonstrations on how to prepare Bhel Puri, a popular Indian street food known for its tantalising mix of flavours and textures.

Our Indonesian group captivated the audiences with their energetic dance performances. They also demonstrated the art of making traditional sweet coconut treats filled with sugar called Klepon.

There were also a display of Greek costumes and handcraft, tastings of the iconic tzatziki dip (a refreshing blend of yoghurt, cucumber, and olives) and a performance of classic Greek dances on the main stage wrapped up the day.

See the Photo Gallery of the Culture Fest event

Paulina Chong
Events Coordinator

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