YYC Diversity Fest brings cultures together

Food, dancing and culture were on the menu Sept. 30 at the YYC Diversity Fest.

More than 150 people came to the Saddletowne Genesis Centre for the Diversity Fest.

People came from all round to learn and about many cultures that make up Calgary.

The event was organized by the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation, the Genesis Centre and Antyx Community Arts.

There were 12 scheduled performances, from South Indian dancing to a Dragon dance 66 generations in the making.

Thirty interactive booths at the festival included origami, having your name written in Urdu and a demonstration from Yoon’s Martial Arts.

The Calgary Arab Arts and Culture Society (CAACS) was there to bring awareness to Arab Culture.

Kelsey Hipkin is with CAACS promoting its arts and culture.

The group wants to show “that the Arabic stereotype is not true,” Hipkin said.

They want to spread awareness about their culture starting with a dessert called baklava, a layered pastry with chopped nuts and held together by honey.

The Indigenous Students Council made an appearance to raise awareness about Indigenous culture.

“A lot of the traditions are very vibrant,” Nisa Kenned.

The Indigenous Students Council does a lot of community events where anyone can come to and discuss how Canadians relate to one another.

India is a nation that has many regions. The people of South India showed their cultural heritage from Henna art to traditional dance.

The northern state of Punjab offered another form of dance known as Bhangra, or the happy dance.

Sixty-six generations of shaolin teaching also made its appearance through Ken Leong and his students.

“Our traditions is no good until we pass them on to the next,” said Leong.

His students performed a Dragon Dance.

The hard work of his students showed as the puppet came to life in a brilliant display.

The Calgary Hazara Cultural Association came to show their heritage.

The Hazara are from Afghanistan.They brought history books, bridal jewellery and hand cushions along with dry food that they traditionally eat with tea.

They are a minority group, living mostly in Central Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Canadian Cultural Association of Alberta (PCAA) was on hand to teach traditional crafts to children and write people’s full names in Urdu calligraphy.

In Urdu you write from right to left and read in that direction too.

There was even a free lunch provided by Tandoori Kabab Hut, featuring a Biryani chicken and rice dish popular in South Asia along with a vegetarian option, rice and vegetables.

Indigenous Info: Indigenous Student Council member Nisa Kenned poses for a portrait during YYC Diversity Fest at Genesis Centre in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. More than 150 people took in performances ranging from South Indian dancing to origami. (Photo by Aman Kapila/The Press)
About Aman Kapila 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Aman Kapila worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.

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