WEEK in Harmony events are under way with Alege Agok among a number of people signed up to take part in a multicultural singing workshop.
The beautiful Sudanese-born woman and her family have called Orange home since 2007, and she is excited to be taking part.
She plans to sing a traditional Sudanese song of joy and happiness that many in her African homeland have sung to escape the war and torment that has marred their nation.
“In my country there are militia and guns, it’s dangerous,” she said.
“It’s about freedom and happy times.”
Mrs Agok said she and her husband Abraham Gum and their three young children Achol, 10, Bebo, 6, and Gum, 3, have called Orange home since they fled the war-torn country.
“We are happy in Orange,” she said.
Mrs Agok and her family lives with her three brothers and their mother in Orange. She said they had all made a new life here.
Her children are all in school and she is learning English at TAFE.
Orange City Council migrant support worker Carmel Dunn said Mrs Agok’s story was typical of so many that come to Orange.
Mrs Dunn said no matter where people come from they all have the same needs.
“To live in peace, have a good education for our children, to find a job and to try and give back to our community,” she said.
She said every migrant she had met who had come to Orange had hoped for these same things.
Over the years Mrs Dunn said she had witnessed multicultural people make a difference in work, school, church and community life, and Harmony Week is about recognising this contribution.
“When we sit and talk to one another is when we realise we’re all the same with similar goals and aspirations,” she said.
Mrs Dunn has encouraged the wider community to take part and learn something new.
For more information about Week in Harmony events contact the Orange Regional Conservatorium on 6361 7974 or Migrant Support Services on 6393 8625.
What is happening for Week in Harmony in Orange:
Thursday: Bollywood dance workshop, 6pm to 8pm, $10 adults, $5 concession
Saturday: Week in Harmony concert, 4pm to 6pm. Entry is free, seating limited
Sunday: Indian classical dance concert, 2pm to 4pm, $15 adults, $5 child/concession
Week in Harmony workshops:
African drumming: Today and Friday, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Multicultural singing: Today and Friday, 2pm to 3.30pm or 7pm to 8.30pm
Indian dance: Today to Friday, 5pm to 8pm (each day)
Indian percussion: Today to Friday, 4.30pm to 7.30 pm (each day - limited places left)
All events and workshops to be held at the Orange Regional Conservatorium, except Indian dance which will be held at Kenna Hall.