Since 2002, the Carlton community has celebrated with an event organized by Carlton Local Agencies Network (CLAN) in the park of Carlton High Rise. This year on 24th June 2016, it was a fun-filled day; despite being the coldest day in 30 years; when another Harmony day was celebrated successfully in lieu with the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The preparation for the event started early morning, on that cold winter day. Everyone from the organizing committee came in early to help with the set-up. The main event started at 3pm with a variety of entertainment in the form of songs and dances in a large outdoor marquee. Over 17 different performances were on the stage at the event. People of different ethnicities participated in the event and were a part of it. Of the people who attended; a Taiwanese Community Liaison Officer working on Drummond Street has been attending Harmony Celebration for the past two years and said,
“the performances were particularly good”
The indoor activities consisted of various market stalls such as a Camel milk tasting table by Direct Superfood and a fresh food market by the Community Grocer. There were woolen handicrafts, face painting, local histories in Carlton, clothes and an arts corner for children. Also, there were scouts from Junior Ranges, Girls Guide Australia and the Drum Youth Services. The activities wrapped up, after which the holy hour, the fast for Ramadan was broken with a sumptuous feast prepared by Harari women. It included falafel to baklava and a host of various other dishes.
As the evening progressed, Ahmed Ali, who has been living in Carlton for 13 years, recalled his favorite moments of the evening such as, “delicious food and an enjoyable event.” Another man; called Ahmed, from Eritrea, who has been living in Carlton for 12 years was responsible for the barbecue; rated it as an excellent event. An Indian couple, Prashob and Laxmi had been living since two and a half years with their daughter; who is now attending the Carlton primary school. A year 10 student named Sabrina Adem said that,
“I like that the Carlton community is multicultural with no discrimination amongst its’ members, with people knowing each other quite well to embed a sense of community amongst them. The residents help each other in times of need.”
A long term Carlton resident, Helen, who has been living here since 1965, seemed to second that opinion. She said that,
“The music of the African band was her favorite performance for the evening.”
The day ended with an eclectic mix of performances by Eritrean singers, a Bharatanatyam performance and African tribal music; truly embodying the true spirit of the multicultural diversity of Carlton.