“It reminds me of when I lived in Africa ... I love being among African people; I miss that and they really know how to celebrate” ... the words of a local Mayo man who came along to Africa Day celebrations in Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA) last Saturday (24 May 2008).
More than 130 people attended the Food Fair and celebrations held in the MIA offices in Castlebar, County Mayo. Castlebar Fair trade Group provided fair trade tea and coffee at the event.
There was food from a wide range of African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, and Zimbabwe and there was great curiosity and interest in tasting the diverse range of foods, the costumes and discussion about its origins. The MIA Intercultural Singing Group gave a performance, singing songs and dancing from different countries and ethnic groups. The energy of the performances was so contagious that everyone in the hall joined in with the dancing and singing.
Therese Ruane, coordinator of MIA, said
“This was a great event and a great chance for people to meet people from different African cultures. In MIA, we find that people are always interested in food and there’s something lovely about preparing food from your own culture and sharing it with others” .
“We were really pleased that so many people of African origin living here in Mayo came out to celebrate Africa Day. We hope to build on this and make this an annual event”.