All four corners of the global will be represented when the Riverlights Multicultural Festival comes to life on Saturday.
When Moana Langi was first contacted about the fFestival, she knew it was something she had to get involved in.
The president and founder of the Petani Pacific Islander Wellbeing Services, Ms Langi moved from Tonga to Australia when she was just 10-years-old.
“It creates awareness about Australia as a multicultural community, and connects us to other communities as well,” Ms Langi said.
“This year we will be spreading as much information as possible about the Tongan culture and about the work that we do.
“We find that sometimes people don’t even know where Tonga is situated on the world map so we’ll have a big map at our village, we’ll be doing dancing and we’re also going to be part of the language lounge.”
The Riverlights Multicultural Festival aims to celebrate diversity through food, music, dance and interactive experiences, and will transform The Levee into a global village.
Maitland Council events coordinator Adam Franks said the festival was a celebration of diversity in the city.
“We have over 28 different cultures represented with 24 cultural villages for people to interact with, and a handful of new cultures,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the different cultures and communities that make up Mainland and the Hunter Valley. It also gives them the opportunity to interact with people through song, dance and food.
“It’s a great night to share and embrace what Maitland is all about.”
A number of cultures will be represented including Thai, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, South African and German.
The program includes many activities such as live entertainment, dancing, language classes and lantern making.
“We’ve also expanded the site somewhat meaning festival goers will be able to purchase food from The Riverlights Eatery, a new area of the festival located at eastern end of the Riverside Car Park near the NAB laneway,” Mr Franks said.
“To be able to demonstrate how alive multiculturalism is in our city is a real thrill for us and we’re excited for another big event this year.”
The free festival will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 3pm to 9pm at The Levee in Central Maitland.
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