DANCE OF LIFE: The Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival on Sunday, August 12 encourages everyone to learn and understand the many different people that make up our community.
DANCE OF LIFE: The Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival on Sunday, August 12 encourages everyone to learn and understand the many different people that make up our community.

Festival a chance to enjoy a different world

THE Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival on Sunday, August 12 is your chance to enjoy a different world - or many different worlds.

The theme is One World, Many Faces and the festival aims to celebrate the diversity of languages and cultures within the region and encourage community understanding and harmony.

Festival co-ordinator Cassandra Hunter said more than 22,000 people had attended last year's event which she described as a fantastic day out for all ages and interests, this year featuring over 100 performances across three stages, more than 30 different food stalls, arts and craft markets and information stalls, a Health and Wellbeing Expo, and rides and attractions for the grandkids.

"My dad loves coming along and seeing all the things you just don't see on a daily basis," Cassandra said.

"Watching the performances is the real highlight of the day, and this year we have the Mad Mariachis (Mexican music) and Bustamento playing Caribbean style music."

Cassandra said the Bollywood and indigenous dancers always attracted a lot of attention, but there would be everything from local dance schools showing off their talents to African drumming to jazz.

"My dad also loves the food, and he tries a little bit of everything he can," she said.

Plates cost from $5 for a small plate to $10 for a meal, with a number of community groups including Eritrean, Syrian and Malaysian societies cooking up authentic home-style meals, as well as the more commercial offerings.

This year there will also be cooking demonstrations by 2013 MasterChef Australia contestant Neha Sen, who has since developed her own range of Indian-style chutneys and ice creams.

The focus of this year's festival is Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) which marks 20 years of settlement services, helping new arrivals overcome the everyday challenges of settling in a new country; finding schools, healthcare, work and social groups, learn the language and culture and build a future.

There will be information available about settlement and refugees, the services available and how the public can help - particularly seniors who may have a little extra time on their hands.

The festival, which brings together over 100 community groups, service organisations, businesses and partners, runs from 10am-4pm at Queens Park, Toowoomba. Entry is just $10 for adults, $5 concession and children free (rides $2).

For more information, go to tlcfestival.com.au or phone Cassandra on 0491 071512.


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