Proud to be different
THE multicultural heritage of Ipswich was on show yesterday as the city celebrated Harmony Day.
People with heritage from neighbouring nations such as New Zealand and Samoa were joined by newcomers to Ipswich from as far away as Cuba.
Representatives from a group of Cuban refugees who moved to Goodna in November were cooking a traditional chicken, rice and bean dish for patrons of Harmony Day.
Access Services settlement services manager Kenny Duke said the group had been settled in Ipswich for less than six months after many of them were detained in an American immigration centre in Guantanamo Bay for up to five years.
"Not many people know about the Cuban population in Ipswich so this is a good chance to let people know about them," she said.
With most of the Cubans on hand still learning English they had typed their stories up and hung them around their stall to be read.
Members of the Te Maumahara Kapa Haka performing arts group taught students from the Mount Marrow State School the "ka mate" haka made famous by the All Blacks.
Te Maumahara chairman Rayson Warena said the day was a great opportunity for people from different cultures to demonstrate who they were.
"It's a good thing for all the different cultures," he said.
"There are so many different groups in town.
"The kids from Mount Marrow really enjoyed the being taught the haka. One of the teachers told me they had been looking forward to it for days."