Story: Lisa Swift
More than 150 Somali residents gathered at Sorby House in October for an amazing day of culture and learning.
Men, women, children and young people took part in the event organised by the Federation of community Development and Learning, supported by the Somali Mental Health Project (MAAN)
Adults shared nomadic Somali traditions with each other and the young people. Women sang and told stories, and the men shared poetry, which is an important part of Somali tradition and life.
A talk about life in Somalia by British farmer, Hamish Wilson, amazed the Somali audience. Hamish lived in Somalia for many years and has set up a farm in Wales, called Degmo, which works with Somali communities to promote understanding of Somali culture and history. His use of Somali words was greeted with great pleasure from the crowd.
His talk looked at every part of traditional Somali life from the importance of Camels, to the skills needed to survive on very few resources. It helped express the complexities of nomadic life, which are just as complex as the city based lives that Somali young people face in Britain.
Somali young people (pictured) spoke about their recent trip to the Degmo farm, which for some was their first time outside Sheffield. The farm is used as a place to gain experience of looking after animals, but also gives a context to talk about traditional Somali life.
The project plans to go on to work with the Kurdish and Eritrean communities. Future plans may include joint cultural events.
For more information contact Emma at MAAN on 275 8556.