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Take a cultural journey this weekend with Ubuntu

15 March 2018

This weekend embark on a cultural journey around the world as the Ubuntu Global Festival celebrates diversity and inclusion with a packed programme of traditional music, song and dance from an array of nations.

Traverse the globe in an afternoon as cultural groups from across the District give a taster of the entertainment and cultural forms which bring their communities together. The event is free and takes place in the Guildhall and Guildhall Street this Sunday from 12pm – 5pm as part of the wider St Patrick’s Spring Carnival programme, funded by the Executive Office through the Council’s Good Relations Programme.

Groups from India, Spain, China, Portugal, Spain and the Phillipines will be offering the chance to find out more about their ethnic background, sharing the stories, arts and crafts that reflect their unique identity.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said he was looking forward to a cultural extravaganza this weekend. “Ubuntu always offers a colourful array of entertainment from around the world and this year’s programme is as eclectic as ever, and the perfect way to conclude our own weekend of cultural celebration at the St Patrick’s Spring Carnival. I am delighted to see so many different nationalities coming together to promote inclusion and understanding and to allow other cultures the chance to enjoy new experiences and learn more about other communities.

“Council is working very hard through its Good Relations programme to promote inclusion and celebrate diversity and this festival certainly embodies all those aspirations in terms of bringing people from all backgrounds together. I would really encourage everyone to come along and take the opportunity to sample some of the delights on offer on Sunday and perhaps try their hand at some of the activities from around the world.”

The Guildhall will host a series of workshops from 12noon until 4pm, with a global showcase of arts, crafts and activities including origami, henna tattoo workshops, Thai fan painting, Polish and Russian doll making, and even a Portuguese Viana Hearts Workshop. Learn more about traditional relaxation methods in the Guildhall’s Whittaker Suite, featuring Tai Chi with Qigong and a Chinese Tea Ceremony, as well as a Malong Dance workshop.

You can enjoy a musical extravaganza indoors and al fresco, with sounds from around the world on the stages in the Guildhall Main Hall and Guildhall Street. Catch the Ibuki Taiko Drummers, Salsa Brothers, Inishowen Gospel Choir and Beyond Skin among the outdoor performances, not to mention the antics of an authentic Chinese Dragon who will be terrifying the crowds in the Guildhall Square.

Indoors enjoy music with the Mandarin Speakers Association, Irgot ‘Gangsa’ Gong Dance by Kabalikat, traditional Russian songs with “Rosinka”, and a high energy performance from Solas Flamenco among the highlights.

Festivals and Events Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jacqueline Whoriskey, said the programme had something for everyone. “This is a busy weekend for culture here in Derry and Strabane – I’m thrilled to see such an array of talent on display for both visitors and local people to enjoy.

“This year we have even more groups involved which is testimony to the growing popularity of the event, and there are activities and entertainment for all ages. It’s a fantastic celebration which promotes cultural harmony through the arts, culture and entertainment, and it’s free which means it’s open for everyone to enjoy.”

The Ubuntu Festival is a highlight of the St Patrick’s Spring Carnival programme which will be taking place all weekend across Derry and Strabane. The Legenderry Food Festival will also be in the Guildhall Square all weekend, with a delicious menu of demos, tastings and foodie activities with a whole host of the best local chefs, including TV favourite Rachel Allen and Brian McDermott.

The new look St Patrick’s Day Parade will this year be entertaining the crowds along its alternative city centre route on Saturday, leaving Bishop Street Car park at 2pm, making its way down Shipquay Street and the Strand Road.

The Spring Carnival is part funded by the NI Executive Office, Council’s Good Relations Unit and the Department of Communities through its Communities United Civic Engagement and Enrichment Programme. For a full listing of what is happening log on to www.derrystrabane.com/springcarnival 

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