Lots more fun when the games are multicultural
By MEL MARTIN
THE Coffs Harbour kids taking part in special Harmony Day activities yesterday at the PCYC got to find out how much fun being a multicultural society could be.
"Today's activities aim to show kids how boring the world would be if everybody was the same, and how everybody's life is much richer for diversity," Christy Lavers of Jumpstart Art said.
"The activities were designed for kids to get cross-cultural knowledge and see the benefits of being a multicultural society."
As well as watching Aboriginal paintings in progress, the schoolchildren enjoyed a dance to African drumming and didgeridoo playing, and learnt games from around the world.
The children's activities were preceded by a Harmony Day forum, organised by Arts Mid North Coast, where participants from organisations including refugee support group STARTTS, Amnesty International, police, Centrelink, and the PCYC, discussed ways to promote and encourage a vibrant multicultural community on the Coffs Coast.
"We looked at how we can promote multiculturalism, because a lot of the problems come from misunderstanding and not knowing about each others' backgrounds," Ms Lavers said.
"We also looked at ways to promote a sense of inclusion and what we can do to make new arrivals feel welcome.
"Ideas included a multicultural week in Coffs Harbour and programs that can be taken into schools to promote understanding."
The forum was part of a bigger project funded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, which Ms Lavers co-ordinates.
"A group of kids are working on the Harmony Puppets Project, which we'll take into schools to promote harmony," she said.
"Now that we've got the script worked out, we're making the papier-mache puppets. We've got the heads done ready to be painted, and we've now got all the dates booked."