Regular readers will probably remember that back in the day, I used to reprint articles I’d written for Australia and New Zealand magazine, here on my website, about once a month. Well, that was because I used to write an article for them once a month and I’d put them on my website after they had appeared in print.
The rate of those article appearances has slowed down dramatically since, to be quite precise, February 2018. Today I am publishing another one of those articles here, about community events, which actually appeared in the magazine all the way back in January 2018.
It was my 99th article for them. No prizes for guessing what happened after my 100th, the reprint of which is coming soon.
Last year, on the weekend of my wife’s birthday, it was also the inaugural Pullen Vale Folk Festival. This was very much a local event for us, taking place in a field by the Brisbane River just a five minute drive from where we live.
Of course, we wanted to support it, but on the same day it was Le Festival, the annual tribute of all things French.
This was also in a field by the Brisbane River, but this time in the city. So we ended up going to the folk festival in the morning and the French festival in the afternoon.
We are not French, but we like that sort of thing.
We are not Greek either, but we’ve been to the Paniyiri Greek Festival. We are also not Indian, but we’ve been to Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. With so many different cultures living here in Australia, I could go on. Each nation seems to have its own annual festival.
With 26% of the population of Australia being immigrants, from probably somewhere close to 200 different countries, there are plenty of cultural festivals to choose from.
What is very noticeable here in Australia though, is that many of these festivals are actually community events. Quite a few of them are free entry, or sometimes a gold coin donation. That means either a dollar or two dollars. Many of them also raise money for charity.
Not long ago I dropped off a boot full of stuff to a huge warehouse where they were going to hold what they called ‘The World’s Biggest Garage Sale’. I’m not going to argue with them, it was a very big garage indeed. Again, this was another community event, and this year they were hoping to raise $250,000.
Community events are everywhere in Australia, it’s hard not to find something to do most weekends. In recent times we’ve also been to The End of the Line Festival, The World Harmony Society’s Children’s Festival, Containerval Festival, Sandgate and the EinBunPin Festival and we’ve also been to the Festival of Sails, Redcliffe.
No need for me to elaborate on any of these festivals, I think they are all self-explanatory. Well, no, maybe not.
Einbunpin could probably do with a bit of clarification.
Einbunpin is a Bunpin, not a Bunyip. It is a magical creature the lives in a lagoon. Now, if you can have a community event for that, you can have a community event for just about anything in Australia. And they do; Australia simply loves these community events or festivals, whichever you prefer to call them.
I’m not surprised either, it’s a fun way to enjoy the summer or even winter sunshine outdoors, grab a bite to eat from a food truck and get your kids’ faces painted.
It’s hard not to notice the amazing community spirit when you live here in Australia, especially in times of adversity. For example, after the Brisbane floods, hordes of volunteers, known as the ‘Mud Army’, literally swept through the city and the suburbs cleaning up.
There were so many volunteers that some of the volunteer stations were turning people away who had come to help. Whether it’s a street party, a festival, a charity event, or a disaster, the community here always seems to come together.