Sunday, 14 August 2011

Harmony Day 2011

Having spent 9 years of my childhood living overseas in various countries, multiculturalism is a subject very close to my heart. I was fortunate to grow up with friends from all over the world, many of whom I still keep in touch with today. At the International Schools that I attended, United Nations Day was one of the biggest and most anticipated celebrations of the year. We all wore national costume (there were almost 70 nationalities at the schools) and the parents set up stands with traditional foods from their own countries for all us kids to try. (Funny how few people actually enjoyed our vegemite sandwiches though!) Now that I have 2 young children of my own, I work hard to instil empathy and appreciation of other cultures in them. I really think that understanding other cultures helps to prevent cultural disharmony, and I think that food is one of the best vehicles to cross the divide.

Two years ago when my youngest daughter was at the Nana Glen Preschool, I was introduced to Harmony Day when they put on a special lunch. The Mum’s were asked to bring in a plate of food from their own heritage. Not having grown up on traditional Aussie tucker, I decided to take in mini cupcakes each with a different coloured person on top, in keeping with the Harmony Day posters. Being cake, and brightly coloured, they were a big hit with the kids.

This year, I was lucky enough to be able to provide the Coffs Harbour Library with mini cupcakes for their Harmony Day Family Morning Tea and Story Time. Also, a very dear friend of mine who works at Southern Cross University invited me to be involved with their celebrations. Another big fan of cupcakes (let’s face it…who isn’t!) she thought that cupcake decorating would be a great way to bring people together. So, I baked 100 chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, made a mountain of icing and we went and bought a stack of lollies and sprinkles. We set up a couple of big tables and let the students go for it. It was fantastic! They all had a ball. It was such a hit in fact, that we made the local news with NBN reporter Clare Deligny even decorating a cupcake for the camera! Check out the video here!

I took lots of photos of all the marvelous cupcake creations and their artists, so if you were there on the day, have a look here for your photo and feel free to send a link to all of your friends! Also send me your name and I’ll tag you in the photo.

Happy Harmony Day everyone!

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