International multicultural festival launches in Coffs Harbour

The committee and contributors who will bring the International Food and Dance Festival to Coffs Harbour.

THE International Food and Dance Festival 2023 launches at Coffs Harbour’s Cavanbah Hall on Saturday 11 November.

This passion project, developed by a group of Coffs Harbour residents from different cultures, is a free event that aims to increase and improve relationships among multicultural groups and the wider Coffs Harbour community.

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Spokesperson for the group, local retail businessman Htun Htun Oo, told News Of The Area the day will begin around 10.45am with a Welcome to Country by a local Elder.

There will then be a minute’s silence for Remembrance Day and brief speeches by City of Coffs Harbour Councillor Tony Judge and Mayor Paul Amos.

Then it’s song and dance time.

Beginning with a Balinese welcoming dance, the morning rolls out with a Kachin dance, drum playing, Philippine community dance, Thai traditional dance, and Kurdish string Tanbour music and singing.

A multicultural buffet lunch follows at around 12:30pm.

“Then we have Indonesian Balinese dance, Burmese dance, Philippine community dance, Thai traditional dance, Arabic dance and music/drumming,” said Htun, who will close the event around 2.30pm.

The Victory drum will play at the end of the event.

Food and drink has been donated from the following communities and shops with more promised: Brazzo restaurant (Myanmar community), Aloydee Thai restaurant (Myanmar community), Win’s Thai Kitchen, Ko Zaw Min’s family (Myanmar and Malaysian community), Htun Htun Oo’s family and Tko To’s family (Myanmar and Malaysian community), Phyu (Vietnamese community), Maseh’s family (Afghanistan community), Hannah (Indian community) and other individual donors.

“All of us who have come to Coffs Harbour from other countries are very grateful that Coffs Harbour is a city which welcomes multicultural communities, refugees and all those who have come to this wonderful area from other places,” said Htun.

“We have seen the many events and festivals which have taken place in the Coffs Coast area over the past twenty years.

“We believe that it is very important for all Coffs Harbour communities to celebrate diversity, to accept our differences, and to share our stories as a means of delivering and building harmony and peace within Coffs Harbour’s broader society.

“We believe that diversity is an aspect of human existence which adds immeasurably to society as a whole, and so should be celebrated by the whole of society.

“Societal acceptance of multiculturalism will not only bring us closer together but enrich our society in many ways.

“It is our goal to ensure that every day will be a harmonious day for all of us.

“We will march forward together by acknowledging, caring, loving, respecting and sharing all our values, traditions, cultures, beliefs, faiths and principles, as well as respecting and following the laws of the land.”

Working with the group, President of Coffs Harbour Labor, Tony Judge told NOTA, “This is such an exciting event and I hope it’s the first of many.

“Our culturally and linguistically diverse communities have so much to offer Coffs Harbour.

“The diversity of cultures, experiences and outlooks on life are making Coffs a more cosmopolitan and interesting place to live and visit.

“They are a constant reminder that our region is so much more than just beaches and a famous banana.”

Booking is essential as tickets are limited due to the limited availability of space.



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