NSW Community Language Schools hold inaugural cultural show

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Community Language Schools in NSW have demonstrated in a spectacular way that they are doing much more than maintaining community languages for the next generation.

Sydney Town Hall has hosted the inaugural NSW Federation of Community Language Schools Performance Spectacular on Sunday, June 4 with the songs and dances of dozens of cultural backgrounds on show.

Welcoming the large audience to the Town Hall, the President of the Federation, Lucia Johns, told them how it came about: “We talked about organising a big event where our community language schools could showcase their cultures and the richness of their traditions. It would be an opportunity for us to show the beauty of the work done by the many community language schools every week.”

Lucia Johns.

Ms Johns also thanked the NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, whom she said “had the vision to support the idea and was able, whilst in government, to provide the funds to make this idea a reality.”

“We hope that this event is going to be a fixture of the NSW events calendar. Next year we are planning to go bigger,” she added.

Shadow Minister Coure congratulated the Federation on creating the new event as part of its ongoing significant work in building a new generation of bi-lingual Australians who will take Australia to the world in many fields.

Mark Coure.

The spectacular performances on stage throughout the day ranged from a mind-boggling display of the unique gymnastic traditions by students from the Sydney Mongolian Language School, to a graceful presentation by Uyghur dancers, a classical violin and cello performance by students from the Japanese Language School, and lively folk dances from children of Russian and Ukrainian language schools.

Kids from the Greek Orthodox Church of St George sing a Greek song.

Traditional choral works were presented by choirs from the Chinese and Tamil language schools.

The programme also included performances by Sri Lankan, Brazilian, Laotian, Greek, Thai, Vietnamese, Polish and Punjabi language groups.

The NSW Federation of Community language Schools supports the 3000 voluntary teachers who run classes in 583 locations around the state for 35,000 children studying over 60 different languages.

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