A song of multiculturalism

Growing up in Africa as a person of mixed colour provided the inspiration for Kyogle local Cynthia Denton to write her first book, More Than a Melody. Part travel log and part insight into how multiculturalism can enrich people’s lives, the book explores the many cultures around the world and encourages people to celebrate the other, rather than being scared of the unknown.

“After 10 years of travelling, I saw the beauty in every culture of the world,” Ms Denton said. “I had a revelation to write a book about mutilcultural societies – to reconcile and bring groups together. If we don’t, there’s so much we’ll miss out on.”

The book also explores some of the dark side of the African nation and the shame experienced by people of mixed colour.

“People with European fathers grow up with an inferiority complex and are considered the dirty shame of their fathers,” Ms Denton said. “They are always in the middle – too black to be white, too white to be black.

“In Africa, I’m a mix-coloured. Both of my parents are African, but the colour mix happened a few generations back. I have German, Dutch and English in me too.

“When I was last in Africa, for the first time in my life, a white man stood up at a meeting and called the black women who were there, to ask for forgiveness. It was huge for a white man to do that,” she said.

Ms Denton said that similar issues facing minority groups in Australia are faced by people in Africa.

“It can be hard for humans to step outside their own culture to accept and embrace another. It can be hard to change, but by spending time in other cultures, you can learn new ways of doing things, appreciate how other cultures cook and eat food. I’d like people to grasp that they have a rich heritage no matter which walk of life they come from.”

For more information or to buy a copy of the book, visit the website www.cynthiacdenton.com

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