Cultural melting pot on lunch menu

Sixteen nationalities from across Marlborough came together for a special lunch on Friday to mark Race Relations Day.

The cultural melting pot included representatives from Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Ireland, South Korea, Japan, Germany, China, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Somalia, India, Fiji and a self-confessed Kaussie (Kiwi Australian).

For example, the lunch brought together teenage exchange students studying at Marlborough Girls' College and a third-generation Chinese migrant.

"Opportunities like Race Relations Day provide opportunities to grow together and show the wider Marlborough community that with dignity, respect and appreciation of one another's cultures we can provide an inclusive community in which people feel connected and gain a sense of belonging," said organiser Margaret Western, of the Marlborough Migrant Centre.

Nazeera Jauber came to New Zealand from Sri Lanka as a skilled migrant in 2008. "I thought I could have a better life in New Zealand and although I consider myself a Kiwi, my cultural roots are in Sri Lanka," she said.

Min Ji Kim, a 14-year-old South Korean exchange student at Marlborough Girls' College, said she loved living in Blenheim. "Before I lived in Seoul which is a big city. For the first time I have seen the stars and green fields."

The Marlborough Express