The sights, sounds and smells of the Belfast Mela where enjoyed by 58 residents, from NI Housing Executive areas of Killowen, Heights, Ballysally areas of Coleraine and Ballymoney.
Music, Dance, Cultural Crafts and lots of learning took place at The Belfast Mela through funding received by
Building Community Resource Centre’s Ethnic Minority Support Project with the financial support of The NI Housing Executive.
Young and old boarded the bus and entered a world of diversity, friendship, excitement and commonality when they arrived at Belfast’s Botanic Gardens which hosted Art Ekta’s Belfast Mela - the largest Multicultural Festival of Northern Ireland.
People ate, danced, chatted and laughed as they relaxed and enjoyed the showcase of cultures that was on offer.
Paddy McNicholl, Ethnic Minority Support Worker was delighted by the day’s event, said: “The Mela is a wonderful event that brings diverse people together who respect diversity, value each other and feel safe sharing this experience together.
“We would like to thank the NI Housing Executve for funding this event and we look forward to delivering a range of project in Coleraine and Ballymoney over the next six months. Today shows us what life can be like in Northern Ireland when people are respected and are given a plateform to share culture. What a wonderful shared experience!”
Visitors had the opportunity to experience Polish, Indian, Chinese, Russian and Philipino culture to
name a few through food, crafts, dance and song.
Mark Alexander, Causeway Area Manager of NIHE saidMark Alexander, Housing Executive Area Manager for Causeway, said; “It’s amazing to see people young and old engaged in such positive activity.
“We are delighted to provide direct support for the project and look forward to seeing the positive work of the Coleraine and Ballymoney projects.”
Participants returned home to the North Coast by Bus on Sunday evening content, relaxed and happy after a day of sharing, learning and fun. Bring on next year!