Multicultural quilt aims to bridge cultural divide

The Ethnic Communities Council in Perth has launched a project to make a multicultural quilt as a way of promoting harmony between cultures and fighting the aparent rise in racism.

The Harmony in Stitches project will encourage people from different ethnic backgrounds to contribute to creating a quilt, to be displayed at various community events.

The president of the ECC Suresh Rajan says he hopes the project will also foster better relations between the Aboriginal community and other ethnic communities

“That is something that we would like to see. This project should promote a considerable amount of Aboriginal reconciliation with the ethnic communities and that would be one of the off-shoots of the project that I think we would all embrace very greatly”.

Mr Rajan says the project demonstrates that it’s up to communities to deal with the rise in racism caused partly by the policy vacuums of state and federal governments.

“I think that’s something that has fuelled a certain amount of racism. We’ve seen racist attacks in Western Australia and we’re hoping that this sort of issue and this whole area of community harmony will be promoted by projects of this nature”.

The guest speaker at the launch of the project was Jasleen Dhamija, a visiting expert in the history of textiles and cultural costumes.

Ms Dhamija has worked all over the world developing handicraft and handloom industries.

She says making a multicultural quilt is a way for everyone in the community to become acquainted with each other

“This should not be only a woman’s project. It should be shared by everyone; women, children, men, Everybody should share in this because it’s very, very important. The oldest form of stitching was quilting”.

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