When you move to Australia from overseas, the first couple of years can feel a bit scary. If your experience is anything like mine, homesickness grows as time passes. One of the things I missed most about home was the diverse celebrations, from Diwali to Ramadan to Chinese New Year and more.
The good news? There are lots of ways to celebrate diversity here down under. From the proud LGBTQI community to Aboriginal culture to the various migrant communities, there are so many opportunities to embrace diversity.
Here are a few activities or events to explore in the coming months.
Immerse yourself in Indigenous Culture
Indigenous Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, were the first people of the land and have the oldest living culture on earth. They have a rich history, heritage, languages, art and culture. Some interesting ways to educate yourself is to connect with Aboriginal people. While exploring the great outdoors you could participate in an Aboriginal nature and wildlife experience around Australia. Or you could wander further to the bush and outback with an Aboriginal guide and explore gorges, ancient rock art galleries, waterholes and more. If you’d like to take your tastebuds on an adventure, you could check out the culinary side of things too, or visit a significant cultural site or experiencing some Indigenous art, theatre or storytelling.
Celebrate different cultures during Harmony Week
Harmony Week is celebrated annually between 15th – 21st March to acknowledge the contributions of multicultural communities to Australian society. With many community festivals and local events featuring global food, music and traditional fashion, it’s a fantastic way to explore different cultures. Last year, I stopped by a few events in Melbourne around the city. The food was delicious, the dancing and singing were entertaining, and the vibe was great! It feels a bit like you’re on vacation, a feeling we all miss right now I'm sure! I highly recommend it!
Check out a list of events near your city here.
Celebrate pride during Mardi Gras and Midsumma
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) is famous on a global scale. Experience a celebration like no other with the incredible performances and art that begin in late February and last up until the iconic parade on 6th March. Get a crew together, put on your most colourful outfit, find some face paint or makeup out and get involved.
P.S. There’s seriously so much to do around the city during that one month - check out the full program.
If you’re in Melbourne or feel like the trip, the Midsumma festival runs from 19th April to 5th May. It’s a 22-day premier queer art and cultural festival, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences. My personal favourite event... The Carnival Dog Show! It’s a fun day out in the park with your pooch where you and your pet can win prizes, judged by a panel and celebrated by the audiences. Check out the full list of events.
Throw some colour in the spirit of Holi
Universally known as the festival of colours, Holi is celebrated on 28th March throughout the world by the Hindu community as a welcome gesture to the relaxing season of spring (or in Australia’s case, autumn). Communities all over host events where people come together to throw colour at each other to celebrate Holi! It’s pretty much like the colour run... Without running! So, do a quick search on EventBrite and find Holi events near you to get colourful! Pro tip: wear something you never intend to wear again! The colour tends to stick to clothes.
There you have it. Those are just a few ways to celebrate diversity but if you go looking, I can assure you that you’ll find so much more!
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