In praise of harmony and cultural respect

HARMONY Day was celebrated in many of the region’s schools yesterday with students promoting the theme, Everyone Belongs.

The day, first held in 1999, is considered one of “cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home”, from the traditional owners to those who have come from other countries.

At Oxley Vale Public, the students sang and danced for visitors – everything from an Indian Bollywood number to a rousing rendition of I Am Australian, before showing off artworks and then enjoying a lunch featuring dishes from around the world.

Year 6 students, with the help of Oxley High students, served the meals, while students from the University Department of Rural Health provided hygiene and healthy food advice. The Yarn Up group, made up of parents of the school’s Aboriginal students, made damper and a curry for the lunch, while the school’s Brazilian and African cultures were also represented.

Over at Hillvue Public School, the highlight was the formation of the “Infinity” sign by the students on the oval, where they passed around large beach balls as a symbolic representation of unity.

A multicultural lunch was also on the menu, along with discussions in class about the significance of the day.

About 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas, and people from more than 200 countries call the nation home.

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