Harmony Day, a day of cultural diversity

Today is Harmony Day, a day where hundreds of thousands of Australians from all walks of life are taking part to celebrate our cultural diversity. 50 years ago the United Nations declared an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which coincides with today’s Harmony Day. It’s a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity, a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.

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Around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas and apart from English the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Filipino, Spanish and Hindu. As a migrant nation when we bring together experiences and connection from all over the world, it opens our minds and promotes harmony and social cohesion. Australians are encouraged to wear orange clothing as a national observance of our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. This is one occasion it doesn’t matter if you have an accent or your skin is a different colour as rather dividing or separating us, we bound together through our diversity, in who we are, where we are from and connecting multicultural communities. Harmony Day provides opportunities to embrace the things we have in common and enhance our intercultural understanding. Our diversity creates an interesting and vibrant place to live and our acceptance of people and their culture captures the spirit of ‘Everyone Belongs’.

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As a nation we are privileged to experience a rich diversity and the vision of everyone respecting and embracing every culture is wonderful. It is my hope that Harmony Day will not be one day, but a permanent sense of unity where regardless of culture or religious background everyone can be safe, accepted and respected in our community everyday.

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To demonstrate how diversity and inclusion enhance our community and understand the benefits of cultural diversity, this year’s theme is ‘Our diversity is our strength’. To celebrate living in harmony both my local community and my workplace held events about inclusiveness and a sense of belonging for everyone. Nothing brings people together like food and in our local park a free event was held to bring families of all nationalities together. The community could learn how to cook traditional Indian food with a cooking demonstration and sample foods from a range of cultures. There were also music and dance performances, Turban tying and Sari styling sessions, free Henna painting and a Harmony Tea house. As a third generation Australian it was a pleasure attending the event bringing together so many cultures from around the world. Parking for the event was strictly ACROD (disability permit holders) and the general public had access to a free shuttle from the local college which ran continuously for the duration of the event.HarmonyDay36

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At work all staff received an invitation last week to attend a shared lunch for the occasion. We were asked to bring along a plate of food to share from our cultural background or a country we had recently visited. Staff was offered the challenge of a cultural cook off. It was an amazing selection of food showing what a diverse workforce we have and we enjoyed sharing our Taste of Harmony lunch. The range of diversity and life experiences from our rapidly growing cultures at work really highlighted everyone is equal in enriching our organisation.  Together we enjoyed a range of curries from India and Thailand, Eccles Cakes from UK, Australian meat pies, lamingtons, BBQ sausages, Oneh Oneh (sweet potato balls) from Malaysia, some Columbian Patacones from Fried Green plantains (bananas), sushi, Prawn rolls, risotto, even a Kangaroo stew.

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Did you celebrate Harmony Day? Have you been to celebrations for Harmony Day?

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16 Responses

  1. McKenzie says:

    I wish we had a Harmony Day! This looks like an awesome way to celebrate diversity! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Christina says:

    Harmony Day sounds like a wonderful event. Getting masses of people together to celebrate diversity must also encourage unity.

  3. I love this – the concept of Harmony day should be world wide! And you’re right nothing brings eveyone together like food. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes
    Ting at My Travel Monkey recently posted…Reviewed: Hotel Lækur, Hella, IcelandMy Profile

  4. Linda Bibb says:

    Harmony Day. Great name for it. I really like the idea behind it as well. We don’t have anything like that here in the U.S. even though we are also a nation of immigrants. The celebration looks like a lot of fun actually. I hadn’t known that you’re a third-generation Aussie. Where do your ancestors hail from?

  5. love the costumes and hand tattoos:) and the food looks great too! #monday escapes
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…My Scottish memories: GlasgowMy Profile

  6. What a fantastic event for your community. One of our previous schools celebrated an International day where all fo the different countries and cultures represented at our school could show off their culture. Such fun!

  7. Ruth says:

    I am happy to read your post since it gives me insight about Australia’s diversity. I had an idea about the country’s diversity but I wasn’t aware it was so diverse. It is good to see how you guys have specific activities celebrating your diversity. We need something like this here in the Los Angeles area. We have a lot of festivals but they are expressions of a specific country.

  8. I love the whole feeling of Harmony Day. Australia would be a better place if we all embraced each other’s cultures a little more! The food looks awesome too Lyn 🙂

  9. I hope everyday can be Harmony day all over the world!
    Pinay Flying High recently posted…Pool and Beach Access at Four Seasons DohaMy Profile

  10. Harmony Day – hopefully that leads Australia to take some refugees actually from Syria, too …
    Grey World Nomads recently posted…Women In Traditional Clothes At The LagoonMy Profile

  11. Very timely. I am always so proud to live in such a multicultural country, and Harmony Day – every day – is what we all need.
    Paula McInerney recently posted…Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat on a Flight?My Profile

  12. Wow, this is cool! An example to follow!

  13. Hung Thai says:

    Awesome concept for peace and understanding – I think we could teach that to a certain person here in American politics.
    Hung Thai recently posted…I tried to cry but I couldn’t do it – Join Project Alpha and write for charityMy Profile

  14. Marge Gavan says:

    I love the concept of this festival, I wish we have a Harmony Day in the Philippines also. God knows we can all use a venue to create understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

  1. March 31, 2016

    […] Harmony Day, a day of cultural diversity […]

  2. January 3, 2017

    […] that cultural diversity and living in harmony is something to celebrate. Did you participate in a Harmony Day […]

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