April 26, 2019

Lights + Camera + Cultural Dress = Inclusion!

‘Cultural Diversity Week is a fantastic way to celebrate the everyday diversity of Victorians and reflect on what gives us all a sense of belonging in our multicultural community.’

Cultural Diversity Week 2019 gave enthusiastic Victorians an opportunity to celebrate and embrace both their own culture and those of others through various events across the state. This year’s theme was Proud to Belong: Your Generation, Your Stories

Celebrating that which makes us different, is an important, and wonderful part of creating a truly inclusive society.

The Cultural Runway Show on Friday 22nd March gave the floor to participating clients who showcased their unique ethnicities through lights, camera and cultural dress.  Event organisers Ashwaq Mohamed and Kumari Middleton oversaw the transformation of the space known as “the Garage”, to uber hip and glamourous runway, and said, “the aim of this event was to give our clients the opportunity to showcase their heritage and express themselves through cultural dress, and to feel welcomed.  The goal was for everyone to feel #proudtobelong to their personal history, as well as #proudtobelong to their new home in Australia”.

Lights dimmed and the audience, including participant’s friends and family were seated with their eyes transfixed on the catwalk excitedly awaiting on what was to come. Spectrum’s clients from: Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo and Liberia proudly strutted the runway showcasing their cultural dress.

Had it been a contest for ‘best dressed’, everybody was a winner. The unique styles, patterns, and colours, from all around the world dazzled almost as much as the smiles and pride of the people who wore them.

The evening was one to remember;  there was also performances by Tenzin Tsultrim beautifully singing in Tibetan, the ‘Chin Up Project’ reciting Haikus (a form of Japanese poetry) and Fereshteh Mohammadi who presented traditional Kurdish makeup, and concluded with refreshments, light snacks and mingling.