Nations together at SCU

CULTURAL MIX: Aboriginal dance group Dhinawan and the Deadly dancers celebrate the Fusion Festival at SCU with international students. .
CULTURAL MIX: Aboriginal dance group Dhinawan and the Deadly dancers celebrate the Fusion Festival at SCU with international students. .

AMERICO Pereira arrived in Lismore from Hermera, in East Timor, over two years ago, and said the most surprising thing about Australian culture was that we treat our pets like our children.

"In East Timor they are animals, here they are like children," he said with a smile.

For Felicia Godfrey Lopez, from Kerala in the south of India, the hardest part of living in Lismore is not having her husband with her.

"He could not find work here, so he had to go to Sydney," Felicia said while attending to her daughter, three-year-old Janif.

Americo and Felicia were two of the students at the centre of this year's SCU Fusion Festival, which aims to further understanding and harmony through interaction.

Americo studies tourism business management at SCU, and would like to go back to East Timor one day to start his own tourism company..

Felicia is completing a masters in education and would like to live permanently in Australia one day, hopefully in Lismore.

Most international students wore their traditional outfits and shared cuisine from Africa, China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle East, Japan, Italy and England.

The festival's theme was "UNIty in diVERSITY: the coming together of cultures and communities".

Students at Lismore SCU had a chance to listen to African drumming from Swaziland and admire some belly dancers while enjoying some Indian curries and Vietnamese cuisine.

Representing Australian Indigenous culture was Dhinawan and the Deadlies, who performed songs and dances for the audience. The festival also included a photo competition, with all entries exhibited at the SCU Library this week.

"We invited everyone to join and celebrate the university's diverse and multicultural community and the contribution it makes to intercultural understanding", said Rachel Callahan, the University's head of equity and diversity.

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