The many cultures of Swords come together in music and dance!
A melting pot of cultures came to St. Colmcille’s GAA Club in Swords recently to celebrate the Swords Intercultural Music and Dance Festival.
Music and dance from a myriad of cultures across the globe entertained delighted spectators, all in celebration of Swords’ rich diversity. Attending on the day was Fingal Mayor Cllr Anthony Lavin, who brought note to Swords’ multiculturism, which boasts, according to festival committee member Ken Duffy, ‘60-70 different nationalities’.
Speaking to The Fingal Independent, Ken said: ‘There was need for a multi-cultural festival in Swords, and last year a friend of mine had started work on one. Soon afterwards, we got together to form a committee to see what we could do to make it bigger.
‘Over the last year, we’ve managed to get Fingal County Council and the Department of Justice and Equality on board, as well various businesses.’
Ken explains there was a need for a multicultural festival in Swords, where people could express their country’s music, dance and culture’.
Why does he think this is important?
He explained: ‘It’s a way of understanding, of communicating, of seeing how life is in another person’s country and of how they enjoy themselves and celebrate their culture.
‘We had acts from four continents, from the Americas, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe. We had Spanish dancers, Romanian music, a group of Estonian female dancers, bands from Brazil and Ghana... there was a lot of variety, so it was well worth turning up to experience it.’
Although the festival was successful, Ken feels that the venue needs a more central location in the future but nevertheless, he’s optimistic for next year’s event.
He said: ‘We’re hoping for the castle next year because you really need a central venue. We’re in talks at the moment to hold it there, but there’s nothing set in stone yet.
‘If it was somewhere central, there would’ve been more people coming to it, with parking and everything else.’
Holding this year’s festival has not only served to highlight cultural diversity in Swords, but Ken himself has witnessed first-hand how communities can work together. He explained: ‘We made a very good connection with an organisation called Fingal Ethnic Network (FEN), and also a new group that has started up, Fingal Africa.
‘At the moment, Fingal Africa has six African countries as members, so we were able to give them advice on how to contact others, and how to register with the council, etc.
‘This is what this kind of thing does, it brings people together, not as individuals, but as groups, and that’s how these things become successful, with the support of everybody.’
Zooe Adeogun and Hailie Nwoagu at the Swords Intercultural Music and Dance Festival in St