By Kate Eichler
Harmony Feast, which is part of Cultural Diversity Week, promotes inclusion, understanding and respect across cultures, highlighting our strength in diversity. This free event is the perfect opportunity for the community to come together to try new foods, share stories, meet new people and have fun celebrating the many cultures that reside in Maribyrnong.
The Feast, which is cooked onsite at Maidstone Community Centre, features an abundance of traditional dishes from around the world including vegetarian and halal options. In addition to the delicious fare, there will be a range of cultural activities and entertainment on the day, including Bollywood dancers, live music and more.
The event has gained enormous support from the community, with volunteers from over ten nationalities coming together over two days to prepare and cook the food for the event. Between 300-500 serves of each dish is prepared for the thousands of local residents who attend the feast each year.
Hashim, a local resident and Al-Taubah Centre President, has volunteered at the feast over the past few years, and is often found weaving in and out of the crowds with his gold trays of tiny coffee cups brimming with aromatic coffee.
“It is a day many total strangers from totally different countries, cultures and religions come to get together, greet and smile at each other. It simply is a day of joy,” Hashim said.
Maribyrnong is celebrated for its cultural diversity, having one of the most diverse populations in Victoria. Residents come from more than 135 different countries and speak more than 80 languages.
“The day is unique because we have a Harmony Day to celebrate our cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone,” Hashim continued.
Harmony Feast (Free)
Sunday 17 March, 12-3pm
Maidstone Community Centre