TRURO – The sights, sounds and cuisine of dozens of cultures were showcased in downtown Truro on Saturday.
This was the third EMBRACE Truro was hosted by the town, drawing more than 400 participants this year.
“I think this is really our best outdoor event we’ve had so far,” said Truro town councillor Cheryl Fritz. She has been a member of the town’s Equity and Diversity Committee for about 10 years.
“It’s an opportunity for us to acknowledge differences and embrace change and having this amazing festival promotes that and gives other diverse groups a chance to showcase their arts, cultures and diversities.”
She said it is “vital” to have the event held in downtown Truro to draw people to the community’s “happening” core.
Truro resident Delcina Dixon was taking in the festival with several international exchange students she is presently hosting here.
She has participated in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board’s international exchange student host parent program for the past seven years welcoming dozens of students from around the globe into her home.
“People are afraid of what they don’t know, so I feel that at these events they can understand and see other cultures and lessen the gap of understanding,” said Dixon.
She said Canada is a “melting pot” of cultures and it is wonderful to have so many highlighted at the local festival.
The daylong festival was held in conjunction with the Truro Farmers’ Market on the corner of Young and Prince streets.
During the event people experienced diverse music with performances by the Truro Concert Band, drummers, a Francophone youth band and fiddlers.
Both Mi’kmaq dancers and belly dancers expressed cultural traditions through movement and several market vendors offered unique, diverse foods.
People were also invited to experience henna tattoos, Persian script and participate in international book readings at the Colchester East Hants Regional Library.
Shahrzad Dawoodabady of Bible Hill was participating in the festival and said embracing different cultures makes nations closer.
“They understand each other better, when they understand their thoughts and cultures,” she said.
“They recognize the differences between them and when they know the differences they can cope with each other better, they don’t judge.
“It brings mutual understanding.”