Community - Rice & Spice Festival

What is Colchester's 2nd annual diversity festival made of? Why, rice, spice and everything nice, of course!

The second annual Colchester Rice and Spice festival is taking place at Firstsite this Sunday, 9th July from 12 to 5pm The festival brings together Colcestrians from many diverse communities to celebrate the richness of our local culture through food, music and dance.

The volunteer-led event is being organised by the Colchester Multi Ethnic Forum, an informal group that brings people together and encourages the positive recognition of the contribution of diversity. They feel passionately about the value and richness of the Colchester community. "We wanted to create something that people would come to and be involved in, something for the people by the people, as we all have so much to offer, share and enjoy", explains Vibha Osbon, lead organiser of the festival.

From sushi, dolma and chinese dumpling making workshops, to tasting dishes from local cooks, participants will be showcasing traditional dishes, costume and dance.  Continuous live performances include a Ceilidh band, a Nepalese dance performance that will knock your socks off, Syrian and Greek dancing, a traditional Gujarati Garba and a Bollywood dance which offers a chance to join in. 

There will be plenty to do for all the family, from being photographed wearing traditional costumes, having a henna tattoo, making a name badge in Arabic and other fun activities.  Friends not Foes will be making a human paper chain, while others may prefer to learn to play the Carrom board game or join in a Tai Chi or yoga workshop. Visitors will also be encourage to take part in the making of a tree of origami hearts, with messages of love and hope.

“This is an opportunity to bring people together and celebrate our rich heritage and diversity. There is so much to enjoy and share together, especially at these times, and what better way than through food, music and culture.” said Chairman of the Multi Ethnic Forum, Poobie Naidoo. “At last year’s festival many... said they wanted more opportunities to get together and celebrate culture and diversity, so we thought we would do it bigger and better this year. Everybody is welcome. We hope to see you there.”