Bunbury Multicultural by DAve Castro

What do you think of when you think of the East? Chances are it’s the colours and the vibrancy that will spring first to mind along with notions of Bling and  Bollywood?

For me, colour, vibrancy, music, joy and exuberance all spring to mind as I think of the East and its exotic entertainment industry.

Sunday in Bunbury. A cold front had come in from the north bringing with it sleeting rain and high winds of up to 125kms an hour so the meteorology department warned us. What to do? Sit at home, eat snacks and watch more Olympics or get out and about?

“There’s an event at BREC in Bunbury”, a friend said. “The Bunbury Multicultual Society are putting on a show, including a dancing gala afterwards on stage.”

OK, so that sounded like fun, and encouraged by the added possibility of meeting people from different countries, some exotic cuisine and perhaps a glass of wine, off we went.

Bunbury Multicultural event by Jo CAstro

The foyer of the entertainment centre was lit up by the colour and beat of Bollywood, alive with the sound of sitar music, the swirling of multi coloured saris and the heady aroma of Asian spices. If I closed my eyes I could just about  imagine I was backpacking again in India, my senses assaulted by the sight, sound and taste sensations of the heady sub-continent.

What amazed me though was the diversity of Bunbury. Although the Indian culture appeared to be to the fore today, as if it’s colours just demanded attention, other cultures were also represented and it was great to see a mix of different nations represented.

But like a Bower Bird, I was attracted mostly to the bling and the sparkly bits of the occasion, and realised that for me, the East will always hold a special fascination.

Bunbury Multicultural Event by Jo Castro

Pics Clockwise from Top:

1. Bellydancers, left to right: Nola Gregory, Anne Marie Hamalainen, Rita Montgomery from Bellyvision.

2. Greg Bird from Bunbury and Nina Bird who is from Punjab, India.

  3. Shashi Richards is a member of the “Desi Girls who dance for charity. She’s been in Bunbury for 23 years and is originally from the Fiji Islands. She’s wearing a traditional North Indian outfit from Rajasthan, the skirt is called a Gharra and the top a Choli.

4. Mother and Daughter – Saswati Pal and Shreya Pal from West Bengal wearing south Indian silk saris.

5. Gaitree Sud shows off an intricate decoration made from palm leaves.

Where do you come from and what do you love best about your country or culture?

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  1. Bollywood certainly has a heady exotic mix of sound, colour, and scents to assault the senses. I remember the first time travelling overseas and walking out of Singapore Airport to have Asia hit me full on with the heat, sights, sounds and smells of the East.

    But as an Australian? For me the wide open spaces and the simple pleasures of walking in the bush, taking in the beauty of wildflowers, and sitting around a campfire, and climbing a rocky outcrop to see the sunrise is what I love most.

    Another great post Jo. I missed out on the Bollywood extravaganza. Next weekend I will be absorbed by the sound, colour and movement of Spanish dance.

  2. I know what you mean about the wide open spaces and simple pleasures of being in the Australian bush. I’m a bit ying and yang, love the exotic East as well. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about Spanish dance 🙂

  3. What a fun day Jo. It’s great to see that the people of Bunbury fell under the spell of India. The sights, sounds and smells of India are so intrinsic to the spirit of this fabulous country.

  4. Thanks Jenny, yes it was lovely to see how everyone was so enthusiastic about India, and indeed the multicultural diversity of Bunbury.

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