Nathalie Avery, Tiara Dekker, Bima Dekker and Anthony Avery at the yesterday’s Multicultural Festival of Five Senses held in Market Square.
Nathalie Avery, Tiara Dekker, Bima Dekker and Anthony Avery at the yesterday’s Multicultural Festival of Five Senses held in Market Square.

Rain didn't dampen senses

WET, dreary conditions did little to dampen the success of this year’s Clarence Valley Multicultural Festival of Five Senses which attracted hundreds to Grafton’s Market Square yesterday.

The annual festival is a celebration of the cultural diversity of the Clarence Valley and includes performances, food, activities and markets all with a multicultural theme.

Visitors to yesterday’s festival were treated to a huge variety of acts including hip-hop and break dancers, Japanese story-telling, belly dancers and traditional Indonesian and Pacific Islander dancing.

Master of Ceremonies and member of the festival’s organising group, Nesi Johnson, said the number of people who came along for the day was extremely encouraging.

“We had a great turn-out, it’s even bigger than last year – I see a lot more people here today,” Ms Johnson said.

“With the rain, we thought it would be less but no, it didn’t matter.”

The performances were proving extremely popular yesterday and Ms Johnson, who also performed as part of the Pacific Islander dance group, said the feedback from the crowd had been very positive.

“People were really getting into it – people have been coming up and asking people (the performers) where they’re from, what they were wearing things like that,” she said.

“I was wearing a traditional Tongan costume and people were just coming up and asking me how it was made, where it was made, how long it takes to make, and other things like that.”

Along with the performances on stage, visitors to the event were also invited to take part in various workshops including a Japanese origami workshop which was popular yesterday.

Fortunately, a multitude of tents and marquees spread around Market Square meant almost everyone remained dry in the process.

During a break from her MC duties, Ms Johnson reflected on the day and said the festival was an important cultural symbol of unity.

“It’s all about accepting different cultures and being welcome here in Australia,” she said.

“But although we’re here in Australia, we try not to forget our own culture back home too, so we bring it here and share it with everyone in the community.”



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