Cultures set to blend at Harmony Festival

Headshot of Tom Shanahan
Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
Email Tom Shanahan
Cultures will come together in Katanning this year to celebrate Harmony Festival.
Camera IconCultures will come together in Katanning this year to celebrate Harmony Festival. Credit: Hadi Photography

The multicultural beat to Katanning’s heart is set to be unleashed this weekend at the town’s annual Harmony Festival.

“This year’s festival will lead as a great example for other small towns to show how a town can adapt and incorporate multiculturalism,” Katanning imam Alep Mydie said.

Katanning Town Square will light up for a food night on Friday from 5pm-8pm, with live entertainment and food stalls from a range of cultures to mark the beginning of celebrations.

Mr Mydie will host the first Cultural Q&A at Harmony Festival — a new event for this year’s festival — at 9am on Saturday at his cafe on Clive Street, The Daily Grind.

The Cultural Q&A sessions will run at 9am (Malay), 2pm (Noongar) and 3pm (Afghan).

Clive Street was packed the last time Harmony Festival was held in Katanning.
Camera IconClive Street was packed the last time Harmony Festival was held in Katanning. Credit: Shire of Katanning

Mr Mydie said he hoped the Q&As would help bridge cultural divides that might still exist in Katanning.

“The foundation of tolerance is respect,” he said.

“Without knowing who people are and why they are here then how can we learn to respect them?

“By knowing, comes respect — and with respect comes tolerance of each other and our cultures.”

The main festival program will start at noon on Saturday. The festival will celebrate the melting pot that is Katanning, with Malay drummers, Kong Hing Koon dancers, a Taekwondo display and a Tongan cultural performance among the entertainment.

For details, visit Katanning Harmony Festival on Facebook.

Karen Dancers and singers from Harmony Festival 2019.
Camera IconKaren Dancers and singers from Harmony Festival 2019.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails