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Hundreds turn out to celebrate cultural diversity at first Trowbridge Cultural Food Festival

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Written By: Andy Baber 15/9/15

A UNIQUE event celebrating the religious and racial diversity of Trowbridge was held on Saturday (Sept 12) at Longfield Community Centre in a bid to reduce hate crime in the town.

The Trowbridge Cultural Food Festival was organised by Trowbridge Mosque along with a number of partner organisations with the aim of giving communities a chance to engage, talk and enjoy the food from different cultures and learn about their neighbours.

Activities included a bouncy castle for children, henna, face painting and sporting activities run by Active Trowbridge, while visitors were able to taste food from 19 different cultures.

More than 200 people attended the event, which was initiated following a meeting of the different partners organised by the charity DEVELOP Enhancing Community Support.

Kamel Jeddi, a trustee at Trowbridge Mosque, said: “Last year, the different partners and organisations came together for a meeting to discuss what we could do to reduce hate crime.

“At this meeting, the community members spoke of experiencing racial and religious hate and we thought there is no better way of overcoming barriers or removing perceived negative thoughts than sharing food and talking.

“Over 200 adults and 30 plus children visited the event and enjoyed tasting food from 19 different cultures. The visitors reflected the diversity of our community and it was a tremendous day.

“We received great feedback from visitors and everyone enjoyed the festival. We want to say a big thank you to all those visited and supported the event, as well as all of those involved in making the project a success from those who run it, to stall holders and volunteers on the day.”

As well as Trowbridge Mosque, the partner organisations included the West Wiltshire Multi Faith Forum, St James Church, Polish Club, Trowbridge, Wiltshire Islamic Cultural Centre, Longmeadow TARA and Tesco.

The event was also supported by Trowbridge Town Council, Wiltshire Police, Pak Butchers, Devizes Textiles and the Southwest Foundation.

“People are already talking about holding it again next year and the council want it to take place in the town park next July, so it is all very positive,” added Mr Jeddi.

“The main idea behind the event was to help integrate the different ethnic minorities in the town and bring the community together, so hopefully we will see the results of that.”

Source: Wiltshire Times 

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