Saturday, March 15, 2008

Immigrant Women's Multicultural Expo

More than 300 participants including representatives from the Provincial, municipal governments, representatives of community organizations and cultural communities leaders, packed the Cross-ways in Common Community Centre on Saturday March 15th for The Immigrant Women's Association of Manitoba (IWAM)sponsored multicultural expo. Five cultural groups participated in sharing their cultural history, music, dance and food with the general Winnipeg community. These groups included Afghanistan, Somali, Sudanese, Iraq and Iran cultural groups.

Participants were treated to diverse tastes, scents and sounds of these groups. Women were dressed in cultural outfits so intricate and fine that it would seem that to make one such outfit could take a year or more. These outfits were colorful, flowing and beautiful to look at, others were regal looking with intricate designs and stitches.

Most of the cultural dances were done in circles. Watching the dance movements revealed striking similarities among the targeted cultures. It confirmed the fact that the cultures are more similar than different.

The event was organized by IWAM to help to bridge cultural understanding among and between immigrants and the mainstream Winnipeg population in a fun and non-threatening manner.

Those who attended expressed that the event was highly informative, enjoyable and successful. Women danced and laughed and made contact with people different than themselves. They called for more such events to be planned to bring women together in a spirit of camaraderie.