Schools unite in harmony

School uniforms were swapped for cultural costumes to celebrate multicultural diversity.

Merrylands High School celebrated its cultural diversity with its annual Harmony Day showcase.

Harmony Day is held on March 21 each year to celebrate Australia's cultural diversity. It coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and with Multicultural March.

More than 40 nationalities are represented at Merrylands High School.

The showcase featured everything from Aboriginal, Fijian and Turkish dancing to a Korean violinist, Lebanese, Maori and Cook Islands performances. Pupils from Merrylands Public School joined in an Afghani performance.

“The principal told the students it was one of the best showcases he’s seen,” creative and performing arts teacher Maree Dickie said.

“It’s important for the kids to understand that everyone each has a different story to share. The kids look forward to the showcase every year.”

Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School held its Harmony Day celebrations last Friday.

Students wore traditional dress at an assembly, which featured a flag procession and cultural performances.

The Drama Company put on a play called “Locked in or locked out” which explored separation/despair and the prevailing human spirit among the refugee crisis on Manis Island.

More than 1500 celebrated NSW’s diversity at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner at Rosehill last week. Guests included singer Paulini, NRL star Greg Inglis, entrepreneur Jane Lu, actor Jay Laga'aia and Olympic gold medalist Chloe Esposito.

NSW is one of the most multicultural states in the world, with 245 ancestries, 125 religious backgrounds and 215 languages spoken.

“What we’ve achieved is without doubt, the envy of the world,” multiculturalism minister Ray Williams said.

“We should never forget that much more unites us as a country than divides us. Bad news sells papers but good news builds stronger communities.”

Born to Armenian parents, Gladys Berejikilan didn’t know a word of English when she started school. She’s now the NSW Premier. “I wouldn’t be the Premier if it wasn’t for all of you in the room, many of who fought for decades to support multiculturalism in NSW,” she said.

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This story Schools unite in harmony first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


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