A taste of Gold Coast diversity

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Japanese children’s troupe performing traditional percussive arrangement. Photo: James Thomas

JAMES THOMAS

Showcasing an exotic display of cultural diversity, the 10th anniversary of the Gold Coast Multicultural Festival has exhibited the often unknown side of the Coast.

The festival intended to display the various flavours of south-east Queensland, with acts travelling from far and wide to attend and perform at the annual event.

Festival volunteer Daeshim Jung said that it was a great opportunity for locals to come together and get in contact with different cultural traditions.

“It’s great for people share their customs with one another and I think that it helps develop people’s curiosity for different ways of living and experiences they might not of known.”

It was also an opportunity for lesser-known communities to get out and showcase a small piece of their cultural history.

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Filip Ilvic (left) performing a traditional Serbian folk dance. Photo: James Thomas

Filip Ilvic, a member of a traditional Serbian folk dancing troupe, said that the day offered him and his community the opportunity to celebrate their culture and heritage.

“I think it’s great that everyone has their own culture and heritage. Everybody here enjoys the things that makes their heritage special to them, and that’s why we came out to perform today.”

The variety of cultures may be surprising to some, but the demographic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that there is increasing number of people whose birthplace is outside of Australia.

According to the ABS, approximately 28% of the Gold Coast population has a birthplace outside of Australia and 19% of its residents have arrived from overseas.

As the host city for the Commonwealth Games, there have been plans to feature a cultural festival program during the two week event in 2018.

Gold Coast City Council has committed itself to funding $5.6 million for the development of The Gold Coast Arts Centre and has set aside another $1 million for programming and operations in the hope to establish rapport with people from other former and current Commonwealth countries.

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