The many cul­tures of Swords come to­gether in mu­sic and dance!

Fingal Independent - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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

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