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Celebration of Galway's Cultural Diversity

Susana Campos gives us an echo of Galway's 1st Annual Intercutural Barbecue Competition,
a sign of the city's increasing cultural diversity...

This Summer I was invited to participate in the Galway City Intercultural Forum. This is a forum which encourages and supports the participation of immigrants and ethnic minorities in the cultural, social and economic development of Galway City.

The group tries to create a space for dialogue with, and the integration of people coming from nearly 30 different countries who are now living in Galway. Poland, the Philippines, Azerbaijan, Congo, Portugal, India and Bangladesh: these are just a few of the countries who have communities here.

Promoting and celebrating Galway’s cultural diversity was the aim of our first ‘Annual Intercultural Barbecue Competition’ at the end of June.

The barbecue transformed the Spanish Arch, along Galway’s River Corrib, into a colourful and vibrant festival of cooking, music, entertainment and international culture.

We were supported by Galway City Community Forum www.galwaycityforum.ie and Galway City Partnership, both non-profit organizations working in the local community voluntary sector.

This competition is similar to an existing event which runs every April/May in Limerick (http://www.riverfeast.ie)

There were 25 barbecue teams competing with members from all corners of the world. Each team had to prepare barbecued beef and chicken marinated in spices and sauces from their own countries.

Susana and friends at the BBQ

Most of the teams were family groups who had dressed for the occasion in their traditional costumes. In fact, what struck me most was the simple, friendly and family atmosphere, which transformed an ordinary, human and everyday event such as cooking a meal into a family occasion which they were all willing to share with the passers-by. Throughout the meal they were preparing they were also sharing something much deeper about their lives.

There was also live music from Brazil with the Capoeira dance, a South African gospel choir, and Rumba from the Congo.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to take part in this experience, which allowed me to appreciate more deeply our different cultures and common humanity.

Chilean Team  

South African Team

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