The West Cork Multicultural Group helps improve English language skills and provides basic advocacy and information services to Irish residents of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Each year in October the group organizes the Multicultural Festival to celebrate diversity. Throughout the area of West Cork restaurants feature international dishes, towns organize special events, and artists hold performances and exhibits. These activities highlight the diverse range of traditions and cultures present in the region. We helped out at Multicultural Family Fun Day held at the Skibbereen playground.
We were asked to bring some food from American culture, so the girls started brainstorming. It was harder than we thought. Pizza? Italian. Chili? Gets cold too fast. Rice Krispie Treats? Don’t have the main ingredient. Hamburgers? Too complicated. We settled on three pans of apple crisp and big container of mini PB&J sandwiches (with no crusts!).
When we got to the playground we helped set up a bit and organized the food table. However, this low-key event didn’t require a huge amount of stressful coordination. It was fun without being overdone. The kids played and watched performances while the parents talked. Music featured a drum band and a folk music accordion player. A local puppet troupe performed The Gruffalo and Hansel and Gretel. The most interesting activity was a game where kids put their head and hands in a wooden stock (think Medieval punishment device) and the other children threw wet sponges at them. This was definitely a new one for us. I’m pretty sure we’ve never seen this game at any other kid fair or party we’ve been to in the past. I do have to admit, it looked like fun.
The rain held off, the kids played for three hours straight, and the event was a success. They even had a Rainbow Loom contest and Liv came home with a prize – more Rainbow Loom bands, of course! It was a fun day with a lot of really nice people. Multicultural Family Fun Day turned out to be an easy way to get involved in the local community. Congratulations to Dawn Manning and her team for organizing a great event!