A multicultural society enjoys and celebrates a diversity of cultures, religions, traditions, beliefs, and attitudes. When cultures blend and experiences are shared the host country for immigrants/refugees/asylum seekers is forever changed and enriched. Our communities become more tolerant, perspectives broadened and tolerance increased.
The ethnic, racial and religious diversity of contemporary Australia means that there exist barriers of language, culture or prejudice which continue to prevent some Australians from gaining a fair go or a fair share. Australia has multicultural policies in place that are intended to minimise such barriers and to equalise life chances.
People of different nationalities who join our communities are an asset. We celebrate our differences, embrace our diversity and enjoy a more interesting, and rich, society when we welcome those from far away places. Having experienced life in a number of countries I relish any opportunity to recapture the magic of becoming part of the blended crowd.
Recently the MOTH (Man of The House) and I attended the Maitland Multicultural Festival. The riverside event was set out like a global village as each country’s special flavour and vibe were displayed. The entertainment included Chinese Dragon Boat racing, traditional dances, an Afro-Australian band – which was as much a visual as an auditory extravaganza – and of course traditional foods freshly prepared in traditional cooking pots.
We say social justice is the balance between our joint responsibilities as a society and our individual responsibilities to contribute to our communities in a just and fair way. The day was evidence that social justice is alive and well. The communities represented on the day did an awesome job of celebrating their culture, language and dance and they did an awesome job of including the rest of us in their revelry.
It was a perfect day in the perfect setting and beautifully organised. The leadership, community engagement, professionalism, skills and talents, responsiveness and the degree of willingness evidenced in the festival activities reminded me that when people have the freedom to be, society will be united and a multiculturalism will shine.