Harmony Day: Celebrating unity in diversity

The celebration of Harmony Day in Western Australia's multi-cultural communities is a great example of how people embrace the meaning of living together.

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West Australia is blessed to have a whole week of Harmony Day celebrations in March. Many councils and community groups actively embrace the meaning of living in a multi-cultural society and the diversity it brings.

Because I am involved with the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, I have the opportunity to go along with the Peace Torch to a number of Harmony Week events.

Organised almost entirely by volunteers, Mirrabooka Harmony Day celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. With school choirs, dragon dancing and politicians, like City of Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin, Labor MLA Janine Freeman and the Minister for Multicultarlism Paul Papalia visiting, along with many local councillors, it is a great event. Service groups display their material and promote their causes on their stands with activities keeping everyone busy.

City of Gosnells hosted the Harmony Day Colour Run on Sunday, 18th March. Borrowing from Holi, children and their parents were covered with dye as they ran or walked the 5km course all in the name of harmony at the beautiful Centennial Pioneer Park.

Later, we also went to Tomato Lake on the Sunday afternoon to join the Belmont Harmony Day celebrations. Every year, more and more people seem to come. The balloon twisters had a queue a mile long as did the face painters and origami expert. I was busy pressing out badges that the children had made. Mayor Phil Marks invited everyone to hold the peace torch and the musicians and choirs performed world music all afternoon.

Harmony Week is a unique time in Perth. It celebrates all that unites us as a community, something that in today’s multicultural world needs to be celebrated all year round. If you can, come along to something next year.

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