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The multicultural festival in Ipswich will be a “party like no other”
The multicultural festival in Ipswich will be a “party like no other”

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, The One Big Multicultural Festival was officially opened with a special event

  • Author, George Koenig
  • Role, BBC News, Suffolk

A family-friendly festival described as “a party like no other” will celebrate a city’s melting pot of cultures when it comes to life later this year.

The celebration will feature music and dancing, celebrating the country’s Bangladeshi, Indian, Polish, Chinese, African, Caribbean and Kurdish communities.

The event is organised by the award-winning BSC Multicultural Services and will also feature entertainment for children and delicious food from different countries.

Image description, Alexandra Park also hosted events such as the May Festival

The more athletic event-goers can even let out their inner competitor and play Kabaddi – the team game that has its origins in ancient India.

During a special launch event, Mojlum Khan of BSC Multicultural Services spoke about the importance of celebrating diversity, which he said has a long tradition in the UK.

“We have no choice – either we do this or we bury our heads in the sand and assume that communities are not as diverse as they actually are,” he said.

“Ipswich has the potential to become a model for much of the East of England, if not the rest of the country.

“It is in our interest to leave Ipswich in a far better condition than we found it. Sometimes you have to be a visionary and plan things 20 years in advance and ask yourself what society should look like.”

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, The dedicated team behind the upcoming One Big Multicultural Festival taking place at Alexandra Park in Ipswich

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Shayra Begum is looking forward to the return of this year’s One Big Multicultural Festival in Ipswich

Shayra Begum is the Joint Centre Manager at BSC Multicultural Services and the main coordinator of this year’s festival, which runs from 12:00 to 18:00 (BST).

“Cultures bring richness and color to a community. Without them, it would be very bland – they bring diversity into our lives and open us up,” she said.

“If we can show a little empathy and help (people from other cultures) integrate with us, it will go a long way in helping us become better people.”

“It’s really important that we show the best sides of different cultures, like music, dance, sport, food – which unite us all.”

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Former MP Sandy Martin said the festival had “made Ipswich a better place”

Sandy Martin, former Labour MP for Ipswich and still Suffolk district councillor for Rushmere, said it was “really important that everyone works together to create a better Ipswich and a better Suffolk”.

“That’s what this festival is all about. It’s been going on for many years now and I think it has made Ipswich a better place,” he said.

By Isla