Culture Bazaar, Carlisle, Sunday 3 July 2011
Bin Your Prejudice at the Culture Bazaar
By Ed Coyle, Community Development Worker, Cumbria Equality Resource Centre
On the 3rd of July at the Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle people were asked to ‘celebrate our diversity and respect our Multiculturalism with fun, love, food, music and art.'
The Cumbria Equality Resource Centre had the difficult task of encouraging debate about diversity without clashing with the upbeat atmosphere of the event. It would have been churlish to ask visitors to engage with ‘issues' around diversity and difference when the focus of the day was all about fun and joining in.
Andrea Aldridge from Cumbria Equality Resource Centre came up with a direct but unthreatening solution.
Visitors to the Cultural Bizarre were met with a colourful line of flags that suggested countries of the world. Below this, cards with commonly held prejudiced statements attached to a string lay on a table.
Visitors were asked to read all the statements and pick one that they have ever held themselves. By ripping off one or more of the statements and screwing it into a ball they were then invited to throw this prejudice into a bin. Now symbolically free of this prejudice they could enter the bazaar and celebrate the richness of our world's art, dance, food, life, ideas and people.
Different traditions showcased at Carlisle Culture Bazaar
News & Star, 4 July 2011
Carlisle's own Culture Club learnt about each other's traditions, dance and food at a global event yesterday.
A fusion of cultures gathered to watch a lion dance, bellydancing and an inter-nations football tournament as part of the Culture Bazaar 2011.
The event was held at the Richard Rose Central Academy for the first time as building work is ongoing at Trinity School, the usual venue.
People from different ethnic groups and cultures embraced new cuisine, language and crafts as they mingled in the sunshine.
Flags from around the world adorned the school and the outside sports area where eight teams were taking part in the football.
Saj Ghafoor, who organises the Culture Bazaar, said: "The day was all about smiles.
"The new venue was brilliant – everyone said it was like a shopping mall. There is so much space and it's great to have a performance area.
"It's about bringing together music, dance, food and culture and anything that crosses language barriers.”