A joyous celebration of cultures, diversity and fellowship brought hundreds together last weekend in Newark. The Ethnic Cultural Heritage Celebration at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark featured a diversity of genres and ethnic traditions, with performances including the spoken word, music, dances, international merchant areas, as well as food for sampling. A Jamaican food truck also sold lunch options.
June is immigrant heritage month. “This place is the perfect venue for bringing people together,” said event organizer Guat-Lian Kreamer, a former DuPont Company employee who moved to the US 40 years ago from Malaysia, who sees tremendous value in raising the awareness of the rich cultures represented in the greater Wilmington area.
“My intention was to showcase the diversity of the people that are within this small area. It’s amazing how many different cultures are represented in our community,” said Kreamer.
Delaware’s Twin Poets Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills kicked off the June 16thcelebration, who were followed on stage by two younger, aspiring poets — Martin Luther King Jr., Communications Contest winners Deborah Olatunji (2018) and Kaamilah Diabaté (2016).
The day also included Kurdish music, East Indian traditional dance, an Iranian musical performance by the Delaware Delnavazan Musical Ensemble, and local Mexican native folk dancers with elaborate feathered costumes and headdresses, who performed a sun worship dance. Representing the sun’s rays, the feathers are meant to channel the sun’s energy down to earth for all to enjoy.
The event was sponsored by the social justice committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark. “We are very, very strong in values of diversity. And one of our core principals is the worth and dignity of every individual and every human being,” said Jan Owens.
Guat-Liam added, “One of the reasons I joined this community is because I strongly believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual.”
Owens is proud of the many ongoing church and school programs that bring people together in fellowship. “We often say, ‘Whatever brought you through our doors, you are welcome here,” said Owens.
Photos courtesy of UUFN volunteer Pat Fields.