Multicultural Group Rings in Holiday Season

The Outlook & District Multicultural Group brought people together in a festive way on Wednesday, December 18, attracting a massive group of people from all walks of life to come together for a meal and a program in the spirit of the holiday season.

Held at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the ‘Gathering of Nations’ saw a large turnout that enjoyed a sprawling spread of food for the potluck supper, including foods and dishes from seemingly all over the globe such as authentic tamales from Mexico and Korean cuisine such as kimchee.  For whatever taste or craving, the multiple tables of food provided ample sustenance.

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The potluck meal was as delicious as it was plentiful. - Derek Ruttle
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The community men's choir delighted the crowd with a few numbers under the direction of Graham Codling. - Derek Ruttle

Following supper, John McPhail invited Darlene Hovdestad to come up and speak about the beginnings of Outlook’s multicultural organization.  At just over three years old, the group has grown substantially to the point where many nationalities are represented in Outlook today.  It started with just a handful, and to represent how far the group has come, there were 20 flags that adorned the walls of the room.  It was the church’s efforts towards bringing a refugee family from Eritrea to Outlook in 2016 that lit the fuse for what would become the Multicultural Group, and to this day, initiatives such as English as a Second Language classes are still going strong, with three evenings a week offered.

Entertainment during the evening included the community men’s choir performing a few holiday hits, as well as some good old-fashioned Christmas caroling that eventually got everybody in the room up and singing.  To close out the event, following Linda Gemignani’s slideshow presentation on Mexico, the pinata that had been hanging above everyone in the room was lowered and whacked to smithereens by a few kids, who gleefully undertook the hard labour in freeing the candy and goodies that showered the church floor.

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Unsurprisingly, the pinata was a big 'hit' with the kids. - Derek Ruttle

With events such as this, it goes to show that even in the smallest of communities, there can be a large representation of nations from around the globe.  You just need to know where to look.

“There’s no membership to this group – it’s for free and it’s for everybody!” said Hovdestad.

© The Outlook

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