Story & photos Vivien Urwodhi
The Pakistan Advice and Community Association (PACA) organised a diversity day to bring communities together on Sunday 16th May.
It was an incredible day, which brought about 300 people from Burngreave and Firvale together to celebrate and to be entertained.
The event was introduced by Wahid Nazir and Lisa Harrison who encouraged people from different backgrounds to the stage. The audience were eager to hear the rhythms of the music and dancing styles from the talented performers from Slovakia, Burma and Iran. There was also the Arabic dancers from Whiteways, Islamic songs by Asad, Masai African dancers and many more.
The Slovakian Unity Thru Dance group gave an exciting performance, it inspired all the audience, who nearly all joined them on the stage! One young man from the Slovakian group, announced how life had changed for him and Slovakians since they moved to the UK. He said people are treated more equally and there is less racism than in his country.
“Here in the UK we have the chance to live our lives, and to achieve.”
The Burmese (Karen) community also came to the stage to perform some traditional songs, which were sung by children. A representative of the Karen Community Association said, “We are aiming to raise awareness of the situation in Burma, where there has been dictatorship since 1962. We are also aiming to promote unity in the Karen community in this country and preserve our culture”.
It was good to hear so many music styles and dances from all over the world.
Gulnaz Hussain of the Pakistan Advice and Community Association told the Messenger, “for many years the community has felt disheartened with the tensions in the area, so as part of our community cohesion plan we developed this event to bring people together.”
“Its nice to see all different cultures together,” said advice worker Masarat.
“It should happen more often. Everyone has enjoyed it and it has brought people together,” said Serish, PACA worker.