Junior Ministers Alastair Ross and Megan Fearon today celebrated our multicultural society at the Mela in Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
Now in its 10th year, the Mela is organised by ArtsEkta and brings together food, dance, music and arts from across the world.
Speaking at the event Junior Minister Ross said: “The Mela showcases what a culturally diverse and prosperous city Belfast has become. Today is a celebration of all that is positive about our multi-cultural society and shows how diversity enriches our lives. The thousands of people here today clearly demonstrate that Northern Ireland is a place where everyone, no matter of race, belief or ethnicity, is welcome.
“The Mela has grown from strength to strength over the past 10 years and I thank Nisha Tandon and her team for all the hard work and dedication that was involved in organising this fantastic event.”
Junior Minister Fearon said: “ArtsEktra has once again provided Belfast with a great day out, celebrating culture and creativity. Mela means to ‘meet’ and I’m delighted today to meet and enjoy the event with people from so many different cultural backgrounds.
“Too often we hear of racist attacks and hatred; this cannot be tolerated and we must do all we can to assign racism and hatred to the past. We must continue to work together to build a fair and equal society where everyone is accepted.
“Today we see the true face of Belfast; a city where people celebrate diversity and come together in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect.”
The Belfast Mela is supported through The Executive Office’s Minority Ethnic Development Fund.
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