Travel Theme : Play the multicultural way.

Mareeba is a neighbouring village and it has a rich and diverse community with 60 different nationalities calling it home. The most commonly spoken languages, apart from English, are Italian (3.9% compared to 1.0% in Australia), Albanian, German, Croatian, Dutch, Papuan New Guinean and Spanish.

Every year the community celebrates with a Multicultural Festival. Since 1998, the annual Mareeba Multicultural Festival has grown in popularity. The first few festivals concentrated on singing, dancing and poetry. As the years have gone by, performances organised by particular ancestry groups have many members from other cultural backgrounds. This has had flow on effects in terms of friendships and networks established.

Mareeba is a showcase for the rest of Australia, particularly rural Australia for harmony, goodwill and the celebration of unity in diversity.

We made an early start to see to the cats and chooks before we left to spend a day enjoying watching the cultures showcasing their dance and music. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere friendly, groups chatting, children running around, playing and joining in with the dancing.

Bella Capella singers

Bella Capella singers

This group sang a selection of 6 songs each one in a different language, finishing with the emotional rendition of “We are Australian”

The audience

A small part of the appreciative audience

What a colourful collection of national costumes. Great pride was shown in the different groups showcasing their traditional dance routines and music. A large crowd appreciated the entertainment.

Not only music and dance was celebrated but also the food of the different cultures was available at stalls around the grounds.

After sitting watching the audience was invited to join in with a group performance of Zumba. The children joined in with exuberance and quite a number of adults had a go.

Audience participation in Zumba

Audience participation in Zumba

Enthusiastic zumba dancer

Enthusiastic zumba dancer

Finally an energetic group of Aborigine dancers took to the stage to show us their cultural dances that they have been performing for thousands of years.

Aboriginal Dance Group

Aboriginal Dance Group (this photo taken by Jack)

It was a great day and it was free. It made me think of Ailsa’s theme for this week “play” The atmosphere of the day was people enjoying the sound and site of all the different cultures. The playing of the different music from around the world.

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, Mareeba, photos, Play, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Travel Theme : Play the multicultural way.

  1. poppytump

    Glorious post PP such vibrant pictures and with your explanation it just shows you harmony is possible with diverse groups ready to fall into together and make it work .
    I read it through with the youtube clip .. brilliant .

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    • I think if politicians stay out of the mix people can get on well together and Mareeba is certainly an example of this.
      Now Australia is my adopted country I love the sentiment in that song, so beautifully sung by he Seekers

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  2. wow! these are really, really wonderful shots! everybody looks so happy!
    on a side note, i actually downloaded another version or “I Am Australian.” The version I have is by John Williamson, and I really love the True Blue pride of the lyrics and the nice sing-along nature of the melody. This song always touches me very deeply. Thanks for sharing it! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!!

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    • oi, oi, oi…Thanks Stephen, lovely comment. Yes I get goose bumps when I hear “I am Australian”.. I will check out the John Williamson version.

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  3. Absolutely loved these pics as you know being a people watcher I love people pics and grabbing and freezing a moment

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  4. How wonderful!!

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  5. Pauline, these photo’s were amazing to view, what a wonderful colourful day you both had.. Its so good that people know their roots, and celebrate their various cultures this way, Its saddens me a little that we here in the UK do not keep so many of our own traditions alive, It seems only in the various rural communities of villages are traditions such as Well Dressings such as in my own village I was brought up in, and traditions such as Morris Dancing and May-Pole Dancing are kept alive by villages…

    Thank you so much for sharing, Loved them all,
    Sue xox

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    • Thanks for the comments Sue and looking around the photos. I think it maybe that many of the cultures are still only 2-3 generations in Australia the elders still keep the old traditions alive. Many of the dance groups were older people but I was so pleased to see so many young Aboriginals in the dance troupe. Unlike many other parts of Australia there seems to be a pride in their culture in this area.

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  6. Sandra

    it reminded me of the annual International Eisteddfod in Llangollen North Wales which is also a multi cultural and very colourful festival; the weather is usually rather different from the Mareeba event unfortunately…more like ‘singing in the rain’

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