Moncton multicultural festival celebrates integration, community

·2 min read
Moncton was alive with cultural celebrations this weekend. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC - image credit)
Moncton was alive with cultural celebrations this weekend. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC - image credit)

Riverfront Park in Moncton was alive with celebrations representing many cultures on Friday and Saturday.

Lamia Chami, chair of the Mosaïq Multicultural Festival and vice-chair of the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area, said this is the first time the association hosted the festival.

"Mosaïq festival is about bringing all the cultures that we have in greater Moncton in one place," she said.

Chami said it's often said that Moncton has a diverse community, but when attending the festival, she said the diversity can be experienced instead of just talked about.

Olha Nepotenko said she was proud to attend the festival and wear an embroidered shirt representing her culture and home country of Ukraine.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC

"We're very honoured to live in Canada at all and to have such much so much support from Canada and Canadians and all other countries," she said.

She said it can be challenging to be in Canada and having fun while people in Ukraine are suffering. But she said they can still raise money for supplies for their families in Ukraine and support the army.

"We have to support our family members so we have to stay strong," she said.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC

Charles Nwakaibe, from Nigeria, said there are hundreds of diverse ethnic groups in his homeland so Nigerians are already used to a certain level of inclusiveness and diversity.

He moved to Canada four years ago and said integrating newcomers into the community is important.

"[The Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area] is using that opportunity to kind of do a festival of nations, integrating people, bringing people together, making you feel a sense of belonging in the community," said Nwakaibe.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC

He said participating in festivals like this one allows Nigerians to make their presence known in Canada.

He said he hopes to be involved in the festival for years to come.

"It gives us great pleasure to integrate," said Nwakaibe. "This is our home; it's our new home."

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