Welcome Home celebrates humankind in Refugee Week

Make no mistake. Welcome Home is a wholehearted celebration of diversity. The migrant-collective deliberately sets out to honour the rich contribution migrants make to life in Edinburgh and Refugee Week is a perfect opportunity to do it in style. On Monday 20th June  Fort Community Wing fills with  colour, music and food representing the wonderful mix of cultures in Edinburgh.

This is the third multicultural Open Stage night organised by members of Swietlica and they decided to mark Refugee Week by promoting the work of as many different groups as possible.  The result is an extraordinary programme including Nepalese dancers, Ukrainian singers, Tibetan performers, Indian sitar musicians and the headline band Ghanamma Trio as well as stalls of African crafts, Polish arts and multicultural food.

We were delighted to be asked to contribute names to the mailing list.  During the last five years we have met so many inspiring people working in our part of town – achieving fantastic results with little or no money. Not least Swietlica (and their Welcome Home project). Their aims are to celebrate diversity and spread understanding between communities and (with a constant political undercurrent of concern about immigration confusing the issue of asylum) the 60th anniversary of Refugee Week could hardly be a more important time to spread understanding. With celebration.

As Iain Christie put it in an email: “We’re trying to highlight and celebrate the diversity of Edinburgh through food music, dance, performance, poetry and music, in a alcohol and drugs free environment.”

Click on the Refugee Week website and you find most Scottish activities happen in Glasgow. But there are heartwarming events in Edinburgh too – at The Welcoming, Melting Pot and the African support group Karibu – and though Welcome Home is not on the website list it is well promoted on their Facebook page and the Migrants Rights website

And we are very pleased to say that World Kitchen in Leith will be making a contribution towards what sounds like a spectacular spread of food displaying the talents of many great local cooks and cafes.

Welcome Home is from 5.30 to 9.30 on Monday 20th June at Fort Community Wing, North Fort Street, EH6 4HF, Edinburgh.  The event is free but donations will be welcome.

Sofia steals the show at the first Open Stage night in November 2010.

One thought on “Welcome Home celebrates humankind in Refugee Week”

  1. I want to add my personal view separately. I am delighted Welcome Home is creating such a warm and generous space to celebrate diversity. I hope it helps to reduce fear and increases understanding of why people become refugees. I certainly think Edinburgh is more interesting and dynamic because of the mix of cultures but we don’t get enough chance to meet socially.

    My own attitudes are influenced by the experiences of my aunt who worked with UNRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) 60 years ago and never forgot the terrible suffering of people displaced by war.

    Britain seems to have become a less welcoming place. It is both sad and dangerous that politicians and the media add layers of fear and misunderstanding by confusing the issues of asylum seekers (it means asking for sanctuary not an act of terrorism!), migrants and immigrants. It is also important to remember that our own personal choices as well as our government’s foreign policy can play their part in forcing people to flee from their home countries – because of war, famine, persecution and poverty.

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