‘Bittersweet Nostalgia’: Migration, Home and Belonging
We are happy to announce the ACAA Refugee Week Summer Festival at…
We are happy to announce the ACAA Refugee Week Summer Festival at Lampton Park, Hounslow, was an outstanding success this year. Coinciding with Refugee Week 2019, the festival aimed to unite our community in celebration of our refugees. 4000 attendees from Hounslow, West London and beyond came together in one place for a day of fun and entertainment, in support and celebration of the valuable contribution of a vibrant community of migrants and refugees to our society.
Our festival showcased the diverse cultures of the Hounslow area through traditional Central Asian musical, dance and theatrical performances, sporting tournaments, a fashion show, as well as diverse food and craft stalls. We welcomed a range of performers to provide entertainment throughout the day. Our exciting lineup included Afghan superstar singer Mariam Wafa and Iranian performer Pouyan Solo. The world-renowned sitar player Khalil Gudaz also put on an incredible show that wowed the audience. Performances from Maral, Wahid Aman, Ziba Tabrizi, Jalal Joyan, Tara Pandeya and Lily also carried the day, kept everyone in good spirits and brought people together in celebration.
Aside from the incredible contribution of our performers, our own members shared some of their inspirational, moving and uplifting life stories to a crowd of fellow migrants and refugees. Our sporting activities, which included a fun and inclusive children’s football tournament were another highlight. They encouraged members of our local community to get to know one another in a fun environment, and allowed them to make connections and share memorable experiences.
In addition to our lineup of performers, attendees enjoyed a range of stalls, from Indian cuisine, to cake sales and Henna art. Particular highlights were children’s face painting as well as ‘2Lads’, a street food company which provided some incredible Afghan food. By showcasing the immense diversity of West London’s Afghan and Central Asian population, we hope that we created a truly inter-cultural experience and encouraged people to be conscious of other cultures but also to be immensely proud of their own culture.
At the ACAA, we see our Summer Festival as a chance to develop some of our most important long term aims and to contribute valuable progress to ideals of integration and inclusion. Firstly, the creation of a more positive view on multiculturalism among our local residents. Moreover, to use this multicultural environment to demonstrate British acceptance of multicultural values and freedom of expression, the understanding of which will allow refugees to better integrate. We also aim to promote compassion towards refugees and celebrate their role in society so as to make them feel welcomed and included. Finally, we hope that the benefits of the Summer Festival will be felt by the whole community of Hounslow through increasing unity between the boroughs and the continued acceptance of a diverse society.