Newry.ie

"We think it's important to celebrate everyone's culture and make sure everyone feels included in our community," says James Treanor, chairperson of Carnagat Community Association.

Weihong Tu
Weihong Tu

"As a community association, we always want to make sure our community is getting all the opportunities that is available to it and make sure that everybody that lives in this community, whether they are from a different country or this one, are included and are part of this community, because we want them to be part of this community."

Pupils from the Newry Polish Supplementary School singing at the multicultural event.
Pupils from the Newry Polish Supplementary School singing at the multicultural event.

Carnagat Community Association and Carnagat Youth Club in Newry hosted a successful multi-cultural day on Sunday.

The colourful event included African drumming and dancing, Chinese umbrella dances, Spanish, Chinese and Polish arts and crafts, and cultural song and dance. Italian pizza too!

James said the the youth group, which includes members from Lithuania and Poland, wanted to celebrate the area's growing diversity, adding:"It's to celebrate that and come together as a community."

Pupils from the Newry Polish Supplementary School performed at the event.

James Treanor
James Treanor
Paula McGuigan, Carnagat Community Association.
Paula McGuigan, Carnagat Community Association.

"It's great to organise events like this. It's enjoyable," said Kamila Greszt, a teacher at the Newry Polish Supplementary School and language support officer at St Joseph's Convent PS.

"On the streets on St Patrick's Day you see different communities in the parade and it's great to see things like that. Our children play together and lean from each other and children are really open and I think that is brilliant."

Weihong Tu was also guest on Sunday.

Living in Northern Ireland for almost seven years, the Chinese dancer and artist performs at cultural events across the north, promoting diversity and understanding.

"Cultural diversity is very important to the people, especially in the schools because they need to learn different cultures from the world, not only Irish. They should open their minds to the world, to global," said Weihong.

The recurring theme is children.

Undoubtedly, the little people have integrated and befriended much quicker and better.

No imaginary barriers.

"We're here celebrating different cultures and I think that is important," says 10-year-old Cassie McGivern

Playing the African Drums.
Playing the African Drums.

"I have friends from Poland. It's important that they are made feel welcome so they can have friends and be happy."

Amelia Graham, an 11-year-old pupil at St Mary's High School, adds: "Today was about celebrating different people. It's not nice if people don't feel welcome because you don't know how they might feel. It's important to make people feel welcome. Everyone."

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