Culture club on the Clarence
By DAVID BANCROFT
SANTIAGO Acera doesn't mind if people feel a little awkward when they visit his cross-cultural session at the Festival of the Five Senses at Market Square on May 28.
The purpose of his session is to provide participants with insights into another culture and to challenge their own cultural perceptions.
The way to do that, he said, was to get them to experience some of the cultural differences between Australia and other cultures, and some of that might be confronting.
During Santi's sessions, the public is introduced to a greeting ceremony by characters from another culture. Participants, he said, might experience confusion and misunderstanding that will be resolved by a discussion at the end of the session.
During the one-day festival there will be introductory workshops on foreign languages (Spanish, French and Italian), dancing (Irish, belly dancing, tribal belly dancing, Latin American, Israeli and Filipino) slide shows of Germany and the Czech Republic, and introductory sessions on playing the anklung (a tuned bamboo sliding rattle) and ukulele.
Other working sessions include a speech on cultural diversity in the Clarence Valley, Santi's session and Aboriginal art for children.
In addition, there will be foods from such places as Indonesia, Mexico, Phillipines and Germany.
The aims of the festival are to celebrate cultural, linguistic and religious diversity; encourage community participation; build community networks; cultivate better understanding of the value of cultural diversity; strengthen community cohesion and unity, and; disseminate information that links people to services.
The inaugural festival has received $20,000 in funding from the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW. It is hoped that it will become an annual event.
Events start in Market Square at 10am and finish at 5pm.
All workshops are free. Enrol- ments are taken on the day.