The inaugural Adelaide Multicultural Festival, held on November 3, was a hype of music, colour, food and traditional dress from over 40 cultures from around the globe and the event went a long way to promote cultural awareness and respect for diversity amongst the South Australian communities.
More importantly, the festival was a fantastic opportunity for ALCASA to announce its presence, showcase its aims and vision and demonstrate the enthusiasm and commitment of its members. Through our activities our association hopes to strengthen the understanding and appreciation for the Arabic language and culture and we managed to do this very successfully at the festival. It was wonderful to see the many people visit our stall and not only sample the variety of food on offer, but also enquire into the customs and traditions of the Arabic people.
One of the main interests in the stall was the delicious sweets on offer. For those lucky enough to get in early, they were able to sample Richard’s almond meal biscuits, Hassan’s baklawa, Fayrouz’s date slices (maa’mul) and Sigrid’s sesame biscuits (barazek). Later on there was the opportunity to compliment these with Hayan’s traditional Arabic coffee, Ros’s semolina and coconut cakes (harissa) and Carly’s rice pudding (ruz bi halib) were very popular. We were also lucky enough to have Mariam around to share and promote her vine leaves which were just like the ones mum makes.
The community also got a language lesson by being encouraged to say some basic words in Arabic and being shown how to write their name. The young children loved having their name written on their arm by Rua in bright colours and sparkles and most people were able to have their name written by Rana beautifully in Arabic calligraphy on a card or even on a badge to wear proudly on their shirt. Later in the day, ALCASA’s members were initiated into belly dancing and the public were entertained by the talented Nayima Hassan who devoted generously her Sunday’s afternoon to support ALCASA’s activities. Lots of fun was shared by all.
The bright sunny afternoon continued to spread harmony amongst the many cultures and it was great to see Rundle Mall so abuzz with people of all races and background enjoying such an excellent event. We would to thank the organisers of the event for putting on a great day, but most importantly thank our wonderful members for their outstanding contribution and cooperation in the planning, preparation and facilitation of the ALCASA stall. Well Done!
(Photos courtesy of Richard Milosh & Ana Silkatcheva)