NEW GLASGOW – Kimonos, kilts and Korean food are among the international traditions that will be shared with Pictou County residents in Glasgow Square Saturday.
The annual Multicultural Fusion Festival, hosted by the Multicultural Association, will bring traditional food, dress, music and dance from around the world to downtown New Glasgow to celebrate diversity in Pictou County and to help newcomers in the area meet people.
Nanda Shirke, co-chairwoman of the festival, said the event’s goal is to give a platform for people new to the area, whether they moved from another country or just from another town, to interact with and meet people in Pictou County.
“We want everybody, all the locals and all the newcomers and all the newcomers to Canada, to come to this festival, to meet each other and connect with each other and make friends,” she said. “That’s what happened last year. A lot of people came up to this festival and made friends last year and that’s the idea behind it.”
“A big thing is the world music and dance, a group coming down from Halifax called Cocoada and it has world music from Brazil and Africa.”
Along with the world music, an African dancer from Halifax will also be performing.
“That’s an attraction because she’s going to call people up on stage and they can join her, learn a few steps with her, that kind of thing,” she said.
People can taste a diverse range of food from around the world as well. Shirke said the festival has brought in vendors from the Halifax Farmer’s Market.
“There’s food from Iran, from Trinidad, from India, Pakistan, Poland, Syria, and Tak’s Thai Food from Pictou will have a place too. She’s the local person,” she said.
Along with a display of international dance and food, there will also be the opportunity to try on traditional dresses from around the world including India, Japan and Korea. If people don’t want to try on the traditional dress, they can still view it in the fashion show.
“We have members (in the multicultural association) who are from different countries so they’re going to dress up in their traditional dress and then somebody’s going to talk about what they’re wearing and the tradition behind it,” Shirke said. “Japan, India, Korea, Scotland and Ireland are the people who will dress in traditional clothes.”
There will also be Zumba dancing at the festival.
Shirke said it will be a fun-filled day that people in Pictou County won’t want to miss out on.
“There’s going to music, dance and so much fun is going to happen that you’ll want to be there,” she said. “For people who like meeting new people and learning about diversity, they’ll love it.”
The Multicultural Fusion Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. in Glasgow Square on Saturday and runs until 7 p.m. Admission is free.