Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LMCS) has announced “Zinda” as the name of their new annual festival, replacing its previous name, Festival of Cultures.
LMCS executive officer Kate McInnes said the name of the festival was changed after a “long review process” was undertaken.
“Along with the name change, we have adjusted the format of the festival,” she said.
“Zinda- night in the park will now be the main event: a free, family friendly night out in Rosalind Park including multicultural music, food trucks and kids activities. It will be a night for all of Bendigo to come together, share and enjoy the many cultures that make Bendigo a great place to live.”
LMCS manager community programs Rose Vincent said the festival is about “coming together” to celebrate all the diverse cultures in the Bendigo community.
“The multicultural festival this year will be celebrating new communities that are moving into this region, we’ve been seeing a lot of people arriving into town and we’ve got a beautifully colorful culture happening here,” Mrs Vincent said.
‘We would love Bendigo to come together and celebrate, it will be an awesome night of yummy food and beautiful music and to just celebrate a lovely evening together with a great mixture of cultures.”
“There will be such a mixture of cultures at the festival, people from Afghanistan, people with a Karen cultural background, South-Sudanese, as well as a group of Mexicans.”
The name Zinda means “alive” or “lively” in five different languages: Urdu, Dari, Farsi, Bengali and Hindi.
“For a lot of people in this area it is truly a beautiful name,” Mrs Vincent said.
Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said multiculturalism is very important to the history of Bendigo.
“Our history dates right back with multiculturalism, from the goldfields there were approximately 26 nationalities that were here and many stayed to create the city we have today,” she said.
The Zinda festival will be held from March 16-21, with the main event on March 17 in Rosalind Park from 5pm.
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