Celebration of town’s diverse communities

International Mother Tongue Language Day
International Mother Tongue Language Day

Representatives from the different minorities of Hastings and St Leonards celebrated International Mother Language Day on Saturday (February 21).

The event, which has run every February since 2000, promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilinguism.

It was hosted by Hastings Intercultural Organisation (HIO) and partners at the White Rock Theatre.

Hastings Borough Council leader Councillor Jeremy Birch, who attended the event, said: “Once again this was a tremendous event attended by hundreds of people.

“We were treated to a colourful variety of performances including song, dance and poetry.

“Our thanks must go to the organisers of this very important event as it brings together communities of different nationality and faith and it really does show that we are one community with many voices, one Hastings.”

Oli Rahman, HIO chairman, said: “Once again, HIO, supported by the council and other community organisations were so honoured to host the annual multicultural and educational event that brings together people from different backgrounds across the town.

“As in previous years, this event celebrates diversity of linguistic identities, recognises cultural and linguistic heritage and promotes a sense of belonging to the town.

“Last Saturday’s event aimed to create interest in learning other languages and learning with global perspective.

“We are very grateful for the support from everyone that helped to make this year’s celebration such a success.”

Hastings Intercultural organisation is an umbrella organisation that brings together various ethnic minority organisations in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

The organisation aims to support and empower BME (black and minority ethnic) communities in town, also challenges prejudice and discrimination in all areas of members’ lives.