Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July

8 Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July: From NAIDOC Week to Bastille Day

July is Australia’s coldest month. In the middle of winter, it is a time for meditation and reflection. In the Northern Hemisphere however, July is their warmest month, and it signifies the height of summer.  We’ve looked all over the globe for our best picks of July dates to celebrate and commemorate from our cultural calendar. Ranging from Japan’s Star Festival to NAIDOC Week and Bastille Day, get ready to discover global festivals and celebrations to enjoy in July.  July Morning Festival 1st July In Bulgaria, July Morning is an annual festival celebrated the night before and on July 1st. Although the tradition is unique to Bulgaria, it is not universally celebrated by the entire country.  On this day, people gather on the country’s Black Sea coast to welcome the sunrise of a new day, month and summer season. The festival originated in the 1970s as a symbol of freedom and rebellious youth, but now, participants light fires, play music and jump over the flames, embracing the spirit of renewal and new beginnings. It is this blend of cultural celebration, communal gathering and music festival that draws both locals and tourists to the picturesque coastal locations.   Star Festival  7th July  Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese celebration that takes place on July 7th or August 7th, depending on the region. Originating from a Chinese legend, it celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair, who are allowed to meet only once a year on this day. During Tanabata, people write wishes on colorful strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. Festivities include parades, traditional decorations and performances, making it a joyful and vibrant occasion symbolising love, wishes and the beauty of the night sky.  Celebrate Japanese culture with our Japanese Infusion educational program (available face-to-face in New South Wales), bringing Japanese culture to life using songs, games and storytelling to teach children about the culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations of Japan. Our Japanese Calligraphy or Japanese Ink Painting educational programs, led by award-winning artist Junko, are also other ways to learn about Japanese culture. In these educational programs, student learn different types of brush techniques and touch on Japanese history and origins. Both programs are available in Victoria.  We also offer Taiko Drumming in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, which is a traditional and original Japanese music program that combines spectacular performances with interactive workshops. This educational workshop allows students to be introduced to Japanese culture through music and language.  NAIDOC Week 7th July – 14th July  NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration in Australia that honors the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It stands for National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week typically features various events such as cultural performances, art exhibitions, workshops and community gatherings. The week provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about and acknowledge the rich heritage and contributions of Aboriginal communities. It also serves as a platform to address issues faced by First Nations peoples and promote reconciliation and understanding among all Australians.  This year in 2024, the theme of NAIDOC Week is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’. The term ‘blak’ is a reclaimed word used by Indigenous Australians to assert their cultural identity and solidarity, stripping away the pejorative undertones often associated with ‘black’. ‘Blak’ is not just a word, but a declaration of resilience, pride and ongoing resistance against colonisation and its lingering effects. The term serves as a reminder of the strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, as well as the significance of preserving heritage, language and identity for the future generations to come.  As we observe NAIDOC Week, let us take the time to engage in the stories and cultures of our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Infusion educational program (available in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales) and our Aboriginal Culture For A Day program (available in Victoria). Let us acknowledge the resilience and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and learn through dance, symbolic art, didgeridoo and a wide range of other engaging activities.  Students can also learn traditional Aboriginal symbols from our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Storytelling Through Art educational program, available in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. This unique experience will give students the opportunity to create and share their own stories and is a perfect intercultural experience for any age! Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts  available in New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and Western Australia on the other hand, combines storytelling with an introduction to the history of Aboriginal tools and artefacts. Students will get to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture throughout this program by acting out stories and engaging with cultural artefacts.  Nevertheless, it is vital to keep the fire burning, not just during NAIDOC Week, but in our everyday actions and interactions as it is important for us to continue learning and engaging with Aboriginal culture and history on an ongoing basis.  Bastille Day  14th July  Bastille Day is a significant festival and holiday in France that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, a symbolic act that ignited the French Revolution. This event was a pivotal moment in French history, signaling the start of the struggle against the monarchy’s absolute power and the fight for freedom, equality and solidarity.   Today, Bastille Day is celebrated with great fervor across France with festivities such as military parades, firework displays and communal gatherings. The iconic parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris showcases France’s military might and cultural diversity, while smaller towns and villages hold their own festivities, featuring local traditions and cuisine.  Cultural Infusion provides a variety of skilled French presenters to assist schools throughout Australia in celebrating Bastille Day. Our Man of a Million Faces and Mime Magnifique! educational programs by renowned international entertainer, Chris, offer students the chance to join interactive and engaging workshops exploring French history and culture. These two programs, available in Victoria, teach students about French theatre life, including magic, mime art and Commedia dell’arte.  In terms of music, we also offer our Classic French Music educational program in New South Wales where our presenters play music from legendary French artists and contextualise the music to students by introducing the lyrics, instruments and cultural context. In Queensland, Les Chansons Françaises with Pauline gives students the opportunity to learn stories of her Parisienne childhood in an interactive vocal session with songs that explore intercultural understanding. Students will hear and speak French throughout the program and end the session learning to waltz!  Eid Al-Adha  16th July – 20th July  Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Christianity and Judaism) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command. However, before he could carry out the act, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead.   During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims commemorate this story by sacrificing an animal, typically a sheep, goat, cow or camel, and sharing the meat with family, friends as well as the less fortunate. The festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a time for prayer, reflection and spending time with loved ones, emphasising the values of sacrifice, charity and community solidarity in the Islamic faith.  Nelson Mandela Day  18th July  Nelson Mandela Day, celebrated annually on his birthday, is a date to raise awareness of the life and legacy of a man who shaped both the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a time for everyone to rediscover the principles that motivated Nelson Mandela, a deep commitment to justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nelson Mandela was a fierce advocate for equality and the founding father of peace in South Africa.  Nelson Mandela demonstrates to us the power of resisting oppression, of justice over inequality, of dignity over humiliation, and forgiveness over hatred. Let us keep in mind Nelson Mandela’s life lessons and the fundamental humanism that shaped him: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  As also said by Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1964, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” His beliefs are in line with Cultural Infusion’s goals in building cultural harmony and wellbeing.   Racial Harmony Day  21st July  In Singapore, Racial Harmony Day is observed annually on July 21st to commemorate the importance of racial and religious harmony in the country. It marks the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots, a dark period in Singapore’s history.   The day is dedicated to promoting understanding, respect and unity among Singapore’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. Schools, workplaces and communities organise various activities such as cultural performances or sharing sessions to foster mutual respect and appreciation for Singapore’s multicultural fabric. Racial Harmony Day serves as a reminder of the nation’s commitment to building a harmonious and inclusive society, where people of different backgrounds can live and thrive together in peace.  Explore our cultural education programs which celebrate and share appreciation of practices and traditions across diverse cultures!  International Friendship Day  30th July  International Friendship Day is a global observance dedicated to promoting friendship and camaraderie among people from all walks of life. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering friendships, both old and new, and cultivating understanding and goodwill across cultures and borders. It’s a time to appreciate the meaningful connections we have with others and to reach out to friends, near and far, to show gratitude and solidarity.   International Friendship Day encourages acts of kindness, reconciliation and bridge-building, emphasising the universal value of friendship in creating a more peaceful and harmonious world.  To celebrate this day, choosing to participate in our cultural education programs which use cultural and artistic expression as a means of promoting social cohesion will allow students to forge strong bonds with each other. This will further help them create friendships based on mutual understanding and respect.   Book your July celebrations now!  Enquire about our cultural education programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of July.  Stay tuned for next month to learn the cultural dates to celebrate in August! 

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Outside of NAIDOC Week: This is an image of the word 'Australia' written in the sand.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Outside of NAIDOC Week

We at Cultural Infusion are writing this blog from Collingwood on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, who have cared for this land for more than 40,000 years.   Living and benefiting from this land every day, we pay our utmost respect to Elders past, present and future. We further acknowledge that sovereignty of this land was never ceded and that this was and always will be Aboriginal land.    In the following blog post, we discuss the important history of NAIDOC week and what it is all about today and going forward. Importantly, we also discuss our role and influence as Australians on NAIDOC week in best supporting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.   We further discuss through the shared knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders how this celebration of culture and people is not exclusive to NAIDOC week but encouraged in everyday life.   Some Important History NAIDOC, which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day of Observance Committee, has a strong history extending before 1920 when Aboriginal rights groups started the first boycotts of Australia Day held every January 26th. Several Aboriginal organisations emerged to continue this effort of protest and raise awareness of the unjust history and treatment of First Peoples. However, many societal barriers made progress challenging, with reports of frequent police harassment. These adversities resulted in organisations like the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) abandoning their work in 1927.   Australia Day in 1938 would become a significant day for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. On this day, protesters gathered and marched the streets of Sydney, followed by a congress with over a thousand attendees. This was one of the first civil rights gatherings in the world and was known as the first Day of Mourning.   After this Day of Mourning, many believed the day warranted being a regular event. Therefore, in 1939 Yorta Yorta man and Aboriginal rights activist William Cooper wrote a letter to the National Missionary Council of Australia seeking their support to promote the annual event. The outcome of this letter was successful.   Between 1940 and 1955 Australia’s Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday that falls before Australia Day and was known as ‘National Aborigines Day’. In 1955, Aborigines Day was changed to the first Sunday in July after people came to consensus that the day should be regarded as more than a day of protest but a celebration of Aboriginal culture.   1956 saw the formation of the ‘National Aborigines Day Observance Committee’ or NADOC. The second Sunday of July became a Remembrance Day for Aboriginal people and their heritage. This further propelled the formation of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1972 as an outcome of the 1967 referendum.   In 1974, the NADOC committee, composing entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time, decided to combine both days to run for a full week from the first to the second Sunday of July. In 1984, NADOC asked that ‘National Aborigines Day’ be made a national public holiday to further spread awareness on the rich history of Aboriginal culture that makes Australia unique, which to this day has yet to happen.  From 1991, for the first time, NADOC week became NAIDOC week to include the distinct and unique cultural histories of Torres Strait Islander peoples. Hence, the new name became the ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’.   NAIDOC Week Today Today, NAIDOC Week continues to be a dedicated period focused on celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and achievements. The aim is to continually spread awareness and educate all Australians on the importance of respecting and embracing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.   This serves as an opportunity for the broader public to get involved in cultural celebrations, events, and activities across the country with some of the longest established Indigenous cultures in the world.   Each year, NAIDOC week has a unique theme representing a core message.   For 2024, the theme is “KEEP THE FIRE BURNING! BLAK, LOUD AND PROUD”.   The upcoming theme this year represents a celebration of the unshakable spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is an invitation for all to stand up in solidarity to amplify the voices of those who have long been silenced.   The theme of fire represents the surviving strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures passed down through generations despite facing high adversity. The theme serves as a symbol of continued connection to land, waters and sky, to the beings that share these spaces and to the abundant traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.   Through the honouring of flame lies a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving, and sharing the rich cultural heritage of Australia.   “Blak, Loud and Proud” encapsulates the passionate and wholehearted celebration of Indigenous identity and hence empowering knowledge keepers to stand strong in their heritage and assert their place in the current world.   The core goals of this year’s theme, strive for a reclamation of narratives along with an amplification of First Peoples voices, and ultimately an unwavering commitment to justice and equality.   This year’s theme is an invitation for all Australians to learn, listen and actively engage in meaningful dialogue and foster a society where the deep knowledge, wisdom and contributions of Indigenous peoples are valued and respected. NAIDOC Week Going Forward Voices From First Peoples We asked Cultural Infusion’s First Peoples presenters Aunty Monica and Uncle Paul for their thoughts on the following two questions.  Aunty Monica is a Murri Elder who shares her valuable insights and thoughts on NAIDOC week along with advice to educators on how to best celebrate this week.   Uncle Paul is a Wakka Wakka Elder and passionate teacher of the didgeridoo. He shares his thoughts on the meaning and purpose behind NAIDOC week along with advice to educators on how to best celebrate this period.   From Aunty Monica: What does NAIDOC week mean to you?  Below, Aunty Monica shares the importance of community during NAIDOC week and how this time provides feelings of community as well as safety.   “When we get together there’s a sense of comfort and solidarity.”  “The spotlight is shined on Indigenous issues and some of the inequities.”   “To be visual and seen is so important.”  “For non-Indigenous people it’s certainly a great time to learn more.”   What is your advice to Educators celebrating NAIDOC week?  Aunty Monica discusses NAIDOC week as an important reminder to celebrate First Nations culture. However, she also stresses that celebrating First Peoples culture is not and shouldn’t be exclusive to one week per year.   “We would love NAIDOC week to be every week.”  “I would encourage teachers to go forward themselves in acknowledging that week.”   “There’s many things you can do.”   “All it takes is their own initiative really.”   From Uncle Paul: What does NAIDOC week mean to you?  Below, Uncle Paul shares that NAIDOC week is about celebration and not reconciliation. He stresses the importance of approaching NAIDOC week with positivity and optimism for the future.    “It’s about sharing the culture”  “It’s about Aboriginal people coming together.”   “It’s about the achievements of Aboriginal people.”   “It’s about having fun.”   “NAIDOC is just bringing everybody together.”  What is your advice to Educators celebrating NAIDOC week?  Uncle Paul emphasises the importance of schools embracing Aboriginal cultures “all year round” regardless of First Peoples children enrolment. How You Can Engage With Ongoing NAIDOC Celebrations Our blog has discussed many things NAIDOC week, First Peoples culture and more. NAIDOC week is a special period and an opportunity to both celebrate and learn about First Peoples culture all while fostering community and connection.   Aunty Monica and Uncle Paul have provided valuable First Peoples perspectives on NAIDOC Week. Through their lived experience, they both express the true meaning of NAIDOC and how this meaning extends way beyond one week but in the everyday.   It is important to continue to learn and engage with First Peoples and their cultures well beyond NAIDOC Week as they continue to exist and skilfully adapt every day to new arising conditions as the longest surviving cultures on earth. At Cultural Infusion, we offer a diverse range of cultural programs for schools,  childcare centres and more. These include engaging Aboriginal programs which can be explored HERE.    When booking a program with us, you will receive 3 months of complimentary premium access to award-winning resources found on our online educational platform Learning Lands. This learning platform can help enrich the intercultural learning experience in the classroom.   To find out more about our programs please call us on 03 9412 6666 or email us at [email protected]

January celebrations

January: A Guide to Celebrating Cultural Dates

As the year comes to a close and the new year begins, January and is full of important days that celebrate various aspects of culture, religion, and history. Featuring dates from Cultural Infusion’s expertly designed Cultural Calendar, we take a look at some of January’s culturally and globally significant dates; focusing on new beginnings, health and wellbeing, and education. Some notable January days that have global relevance include World Braille Day, and International Day of Education. These days foster discourse about important topics, honour achievements, and commemorate the history of countries across the world. The first month of the year marks a period of exploration and new beginnings, filled with possibilities and opportunities. Recognised as International Creativity Month and Self-Love Month, it encourages individuals to explore new hobbies, interests, skills, and passions. In the spirit of exploration, our Multicultural All-Day or Half-Day program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism through a wide variety of engaging and interactive experiences. Participants actively take part in a range of activities and artistic expressions, exploring themes such as language, culture, and history, showcasing a diverse array of cultural programs that contribute to a rich and enlightening experience. Each month of the year has days that hold special significance, making them worth remembering and celebrating. Here, we have shared the details about some commonly celebrated dates in January. Feast of St Basil 1st January St Basil the Great was a leader and a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church, who lived in Cappadocia and served the community with generosity and compassion. He is remembered on the Feast of St Basil, when people bake a special cake called Vasilopita, which has a coin hidden inside. This tradition comes from the bishop’s practice of giving money to the poor. On this day, people also visit their friends and relatives, and celebrate their culture and history together. Our founder and CEO Peter Mousaferiadis is proud of his Greek Orthodox background and heritage. He has received recognition from the Greek community for his work and achievements. He shares the same vision as St Basil the Great, which is to promote intercultural harmony around the world. Cultural Infusion is inspired by the diversity and uniqueness of each human being, and aims to create a better understanding of our society. International Mind-Body Wellness Day 3rd January January 3rd is celebrated as International Mind-Body Wellness Day and is an opportunity to celebrate how a healthy mind means a healthy body as the connection between them plays an integral role in our overall health and well-being. This day highlights the ways that we can elevate our mind-body wellness and promote physical and mental health. Everything from mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality, is encouraged! Our Yoga and Mindfulness program, available in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, helps students recalibrate for the new school year. Incorporating breath work, flexibility, and strength exercises, the program promotes mental and physical well-being. Students learn flowing yoga postures, classical hand gestures, meditation and breath techniques. Didgeridoo Mindfulness Journey is another fantastic program in Victoria this is a perfect way to re-calibrate the mind and body. Through this engaging program, participants delve into three stories depicting children’s global discovery of the didgeridoo. The session concludes with a didgeridoo meditation, providing a holistic experience for all involved. World Braille Day 4th January World Braille Day, on January 4th, celebrates Louis Braille’s birthday, the inventor of the Braille system empowering millions with visual impairments. This tactile writing system fosters accessibility, education, and social inclusion, highlighting the importance of equal opportunities. The day honours Louis Braille’s enduring legacy, enriching countless lives globally.  Australia celebrates January as National Braille Literacy Month. World Hindi Day 10th January Also known as Vishwa Hindi Diwas, World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10th each year to promote and honour the Hindi language as one of the most widely spoken languages globally. This day marks the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference held in 1975. Hindi plays a crucial role in fostering cultural understanding and connecting people from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Our Bollywood Infusion program (available Australia-wide) and Classical Indian Dance program (available in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia), provide a vibrant cultural experience to engage students in the joy of movement, rhythm, and diversity. These are excellent programs to celebrate World Hindi Day, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indian artforms, traditions and culture. International Kite Day 14th January International Kite Day is a global celebration of the joy and art of flying kites. The day symbolises freedom and joy, turning the sky into a canvas adorned with creative designs in a range of colours. It’s a day of shared experiences and community, celebrating the beauty of flight and the simple pleasure of seeing kites dance in the wind. Our Chinese Kite Making workshop in Victoria offers students a hands-on cultural experience, crafting traditional Chinese kites and learning the cultural significance of the traditional art of Chinese Kite Making, perfect for International Kite Day. World Religion Day 15th January World Religion Day is a global event that recognises the significant role religion plays in fostering connections among humanity. Rooted in Baha’i principles, the day advocates for universal equality and promotes a deeper interfaith understanding, strengthening bonds across all communities. Over time, World Religion Day has evolved beyond exclusive celebrations by Baha’i followers, embracing interfaith dialogue that welcomes and shares perspectives from various faiths. Our CEO, Peter Mousaferiadis, has been a dedicated member of the United Religions Initiative (URI), actively involved in promoting interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution. The URI’s continuous initiatives have brought together esteemed individuals from across the globe to engage in discussions on peace-building and conflict transformation at both local and global scales. At Cultural Infusion, we firmly believe that fostering intercultural understanding and solidarity is a crucial step towards creating a more harmonious world. National Handwriting Day 23rd January National Handwriting Day, celebrated on January 23rd, encourages the appreciation of the art of handwriting. Commemorating the birthday of John Hancock, known for his distinctive signature on the Declaration of Independence, the day emphasises the personal touch of handwritten communication and has since been celebrated internationally. In a digital age, it reminds us of the uniqueness and cognitive benefits of handwriting, encouraging people to take a moment engage in the act of penmanship. Our Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) program provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills and appreciate the beauty of Japanese characters. Available in Victoria for both schools and early childhood, students of all ages will get to explore the traditional art of Japanese calligraphy. Similarly, primary and secondary school students in New South Wales can practice their Chinese calligraphy in our Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Ink Painting program, engaging in a meaningful and culturally enriching practice. International Day of Education 24th January The International Day of Education, highlights the crucial role of education in promoting peace, development, and human rights globally. Established by the United Nations, the day emphasises the importance of inclusive and equitable learning opportunities for all. The International Day of Education is a call to collaborate and address global education challenges and reaffirms the belief that education is a fundamental human right, essential for building a sustainable and just future. Cultural Infusion provides a variety of educational programs dedicated to fostering creativity. In addition to our diverse range of in-person and virtual programs, we offer a comprehensive musical digital platform, Sound Infusion which is designed for students to discover the richness of global music. Sound Infusion, guides students on a global auditory exploration with music samples from various regions, including Latin America and South East Asia. We emphasise transformative education, encouraging students to perceive the social world through a creative and ethical lens. Australia Day / Invasion Day 26th January Known by many people as Australia Day, January 26 is the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip’s landing in Sydney Cove in 1788. Representing pride, patriotism, and achievement, Australia Day is a day of celebration and festivities for some. However, for First Nations Peoples, it’s known as Invasion Day. A day of trauma, Invasion Day marks the impact of dispossession, loss of culture, and the profound consequences of British colonisation and the Stolen Generation on their communities. While it’s important to acknowledge Australia’s national achievements and celebrate national pride, it’s equally vital to empathise with and comprehend the ongoing postcolonial trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, along with the negative associations linked to this day. As a nation, it’s important to strive for greater harmony, necessitating reflection and amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Cultural Infusion places significance on personal reflection on January 26 and every day of the year, advocating for enhanced intercultural understanding and confronting previously held beliefs of national pride and heritage. We believe First Nations perspectives need to be heard and valued. Our Aboriginal programs at Cultural Infusion are available in many states across Australia, and are open learning environments for promoting interculturalism and connection between modern and traditional Australia. Aboriginal Infusion is a perfect interactive and engaging introduction to the rich, continuing traditions and cultural aspects of Australia’s first people. Available in Queensland and Victoria, this program features dance and Didgeridoo. Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts combines storytelling, artefacts and interactive activities, to introduce students to the history of Aboriginal tools, creating an engaging session for your students in New South Wales, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory. International Environmental Education Day 26th January International Environmental Education Day, observed on January 26th, promotes environmental awareness and the pivotal role of education in sustainable development. This day encourages learning about environmental challenges, conservation, and sustainable practices, aiming to inspire positive actions for the planet. It serves as a reminder that informed individuals are crucial for building a more environmentally conscious global community. Our Caring for Country program in Queensland provides students with the opportunity to connect with the environment and foster an understanding of Indigenous sustainability practices. Through engaging activities and educational content, students develop an appreciation for nature and gain valuable insights into the importance of environmental conservation. Book your January celebrations now! Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the beginning of the new year! We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in February.

8 Dates to Celebrate in March: This is a photo of multicoloured tulips with the words “hello March”.

8 Dates to Celebrate in March

March is much more than a simple transition between summer and autumn. It’s a month rich in international events that highlight important issues such as women’s rights, cultural diversity, and global challenges. Thanks to Cultural Infusion’s cultural calendar, we can see some important dates to celebrate in March.   This month of the year marks a period of exploration and new beginnings, full of possibilities and opportunities. Recognised as International Creativity Month and Self-Love Month, March encourages people to explore new hobbies, interests, skills, and passions. 1. International Women’s Day  8th March Every year, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. This day is much more than a simple commemoration; it is an opportunity to recognise the achievements of women in all fields, while highlighting the need to fight for gender equality.   International Women’s Day is marked by a different theme each year, highlighting an important issue for women around the world. This year’s theme is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. These themes are chosen to highlight persistent gender inequalities and to encourage governments, organisations, and individuals to take action to address them.   It is celebrated all over the world, with a variety of events such as conferences, artistic performances, exhibitions, and more. There occasions give women the chance to come together, support and inspire each other in their fight for equality.   By recognising women’s achievements and raising awareness of the challenges they face every day, we can all help to create a world where women are respected, valued, and treated fairly.   At Cultural Infusion, we represent many talented and culturally diverse women who present in schools, early childhood and more, sharing their culture through the arts, and appreciating the significant impact of women’s contributions to the world. Our Diversity Atlas data analytics platform focuses not only on cultural differences but also on gender. It highlights the importance of gender diversity in an organisation.   2. Maha Shivaratri 8th March Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar. This annual celebration is dedicated to honouring Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism.   According to legend, Maha Shivaratri marks the night when Shiva dances the Tandava, the cosmic dance, which symbolizes the creation and destruction of the universe. It is an opportunity to renew one’s commitment to values such as truth, purity and compassion, and to seek Shiva’s blessing and protection for a prosperous and fulfilling life.  Maha Shivaratri is much more than just a religious festival; it is a celebration of spirituality, devotion and Shiva’s divine grace. By honouring Shiva and dedicating themselves to his devotion, Hindu devotees find inspiration, strength and guidance for their spiritual journey. Whether through meditation, prayer or participation in sacred rituals, Maha Shivaratri offers everyone the opportunity to connect with the divine and find inner peace and fulfilment.   Embark on a colourful journey to the vibrant world of Bollywood with Bollywood Infusion; a dynamic Bollywood dance workshop where students will learn about the folk and classical origins of the dances, as well as the symbolism of certain movements. Bollywood is an important part of modern Indian culture, referring to the Hindi film industry and characterised by colourful displays of music, dance and costumes. This program is available Australia-wide for early learning centres and schools.   3. Nyepi 11th March  Known as the ‘Day of Silence’, Nyepi is one of the most important festivals in Bali, Indonesia. This annual celebration is unique in its kind, as it is marked by a full day of silence, meditation, and reflection, followed by colourful rituals and community festivities.   The significance of Nyepi lies in the belief that silence and meditation can help to purify the soul, eliminate negative energies, and strengthen the connection with the gods. It is a day to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, to refocus on oneself and to reflect on one’s life, actions, and aspirations.   On the eve of Nyepi, the Balinese celebrate ‘Ngrupuk’, where colourful parades and street performances are organised to chase away evil spirits. On Nyepi day itself, all activity is forbidden, including leaving your home. The streets are deserted, shops are closed, and the island is enveloped in a solemn calm.  This sacred day embodies spirituality, tranquillity, and communion with nature. By observing a full day of silence and meditation, the Balinese find inner peace and connection with their deepest selves. Whether meditating at home or taking part in community rituals, Nyepi offers everyone the opportunity for spiritual renewal and cultivate peace and harmony in their lives and in the world around them.   Immerse yourself in the world of Balinese culture with our Bali in Motion program. Available in New South Wales and Western Australia, students will learn about the origins, symbols, and significance of Indonesian culture through dance and music.  4. Cherry Blossom Festival 20th March This annual celebration marks the blossoming of cherry blossoms in Japan and other parts of the world. This iconic festival is an opportunity to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms, gather with family and friends, and celebrate nature and Japanese culture.   Deeply rooted in centuries-old tradition, the Cherry Blossom Festival holds deep significance in Japanese culture and spirituality. Considered as symbol of renewal and rebirth, cherry blossom is celebrated as a sign of life’s transient beauty. Cherry blossoms represent fragility, grace, and gratitude.  For many Japanese, this festival carries profound meaning. It’s a time to connect with nature, to meditate on the impermanence of life and to appreciate the fleeting beauty of the present moment. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate friendship, conviviality and sharing. By admiring the cherry blossoms and participating in the festivities, people find joy, inspiration and connection with their inner selves and the world around them.   Discover a variety of programs showcasing Japanese culture such as Japanese Infusion ; available in New South Wales or our Japanese Calligraphy that is available in Victoria, which gives students the opportunity to develop their writing skills, appreciate the beauty of Japanese characters and experience more about Japanese cultures and traditions.   5. International Francophonie Day  20th March This celebration is a special opportunity to celebrate the French language as well as the cultural and linguistic diversity of Francophone countries around the world. It is therefore an opportunity to create the links that unite Francophone peoples and to promote the French language as a vehicle for communication, cooperation, and cultural exchange.   International Francophonie Day is marked by a series of activities and events organized in Francophone countries and within the global French-speaking community. These events include conferences, debates, art exhibitions, music concerts, film screenings, poetry competitions, public readings, and cultural festivals.  For many Francophones, International Francophonie Day holds deep spiritual significance that goes beyond simple cultural celebration. It is an opportunity to celebrate the shared identity and common values that unite Francophone peoples, such as tolerance, respect, and solidarity. This day strengthens the ties of friendship and cooperation between Francophone countries and promotes an inclusive and open-minded vision of the world.   By celebrating this day, Francophones around the world have the opportunity to celebrate their common heritage and promote the French language. This day offers everyone the opportunity to immerse themselves in the richness and diversity of French culture.   Our Mime Magnifique! program in Victoria is packed with action, fun and festivities. As participants explore French culture and history, they’ll learn about the importance of the French art form of mime. With charades, magic tricks and more, the presenter brings theatre to life in a highly interactive and engaging workshop.  6. International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination  21st March This day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1966. Its main aim is to raise awareness of the persistent challenges of racial discrimination and to promote equality, tolerance and diversity.   The date was chosen in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre (1960) in South Africa, when police opened fire on a peaceful crowd protesting apartheid laws. This tragedy resulted in the loss of many lives, drawing the world’s attention to the horrors of racial discrimination and oppression.  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a powerful reminder of the importance of combating discrimination in all its forms and promoting equality and justice for all. We must work together to build a world where everyone is respected, valued and treated fairly, regardless of their race, ethnic origin or skin colour. 7. Harmony Week 18th to 24th March   Harmony Week is an annual celebration in Australia that aims to promote inclusion, diversity and mutual respect between the country’s different cultures, religions, and communities. This week is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s rich cultural diversity and to recognise everyone’s contribution to creating a harmonious and inclusive society.   The week is celebrated across the country with a variety of events. Multicultural festivals, world music concerts, art exhibitions, fashion shows, film screenings and culinary workshops are being organised in cities and communities across the country. These activities aim to promote intercultural understanding, strengthen community ties, and raise awareness of the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.   For many Australians, Harmony Week has a deep spiritual significance that goes beyond simply celebrating cultural diversity. It is a time to reflect on the fundamental values of respect, acceptance, and solidarity, and to recognise the dignity and humanity of every individual, whatever their origin or culture.   Harmony Week helps to promote peace, tolerance and cooperation in society, and a fairer world for all. Aligned with these values, our Multicultural All-Day program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism through engaging artists and interactive experiences. Participants actively take part in a series of activities and artistic expressions, exploring themes such as language, culture, and history, presenting a diverse range of cultural programmes that contribute to a rich and informative experience.  8. Holi Festival 25th March The Holi Festival is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated in India and other parts of the world. This annual celebration marks the arrival of spring and is an opportunity to get together, have fun and celebrate life with bright colours and lively festivities.   The festival has its origins in the ancient traditions of Hinduism and is famous in honour of various Hindu legends and deities. The most famous legend associated with Holi is that of Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu, which symbolises the victory of good over evil. Holi also celebrates the love between Krishna and Radha. Holi has become synonymous with the celebration of love and unity.   For Hindus, the Holi festival is an opportunity to celebrate unity in diversity. It is a time to erase social and cultural differences. By throwing colours at each other without distinction of caste, religion or social status, people express their acceptance and respect for all forms of life.   By taking part in colour battles, dancing to traditional music and sharing delicious feasts, people celebrate life in all its splendour and celebrate the love and friendship that unites us all as human beings.   Check out our Bollywood Infusion program (available in all states) and our Classical Indian Dance programs available in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia provide a vibrant cultural experience that allows students to discover the joy of movement, rhythm, and diversity.  March cultural celebrations offer us a precious opportunity to celebrate diversity, inclusion and harmony in our societies. Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of March!  Book your March celebrations here and enjoy 3 months of free intercultural education resources!   Cultural Infusion offers cultural education programs to various settings to promote intercultural understanding and raise young people’s awareness of cultural diversity. These initiatives play a crucial role in promoting inclusion and tolerance from an early age, helping to create a more harmonious world that respects diversity. Together, let’s celebrate our differences and work to build a future where diversity is celebrated and respected by all.   We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in April.  

celebrate in February

8 Dates to Celebrate in February

Exploring notable dates to Celebrate in February guides us through a variety of international events and awareness days that enhance our cultural calendar. Among these, the Lunar New Year stands out with its festive atmosphere and vibrant fireworks, especially cherished by the Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, and Vietnamese communities across Australia. We also delve into Interfaith Harmony Week, Children’s Mental Health Week, and the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Celebrate in February: Lunar New Year 10th February Lunar New Year marks the beginning of February with its valued traditions and family gatherings. Celebrated predominantly in East Asia, this event holds historical significance as a time for families to come together, adorned with traditional decorations and exchanging red envelopes symbolizing prosperity. Festivities include dragon dances and fireworks, representing a time of familial unity and cultural heritage. To share the essence of Lunar New Year in Australia, Cultural Infusion organises lively Lion Dances in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia. Through engaging programs like Little Lion Dance and Chinese Lion Dance, children experience the symbolism and customs of East Asian culture first hand. World Interfaith Harmony Week 1st to 7th February Originating in 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week blossoms annually into a celebration of unity amidst diverse religious and ethnic communities, particularly in the Middle East. Endorsed by the United Nations, this week champions dialogue and solidarity between Muslim and Christian communities, fostering mutual understanding through shared values and peaceful discourse. In the spirit of cultural exchange, our Middle Eastern Belly Dance program invites students across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and Western Australia to revel in the artistry of traditional dances and costumes, offering a vibrant glimpse into Middle Eastern culture. Similarly, our Middle Eastern Drumming program, available in Queensland, introduces students to the rhythmic wonders of traditional instruments, fostering an appreciation for the rich musical heritage of the region. World Hijab Day 1st February World Hijab Day commemorates the history and significance of the hijab, symbolising empowerment and identity for Muslim women worldwide. Challenging misconceptions, this day celebrates the beauty and agency behind wearing the hijab, inviting both Muslims and non-Muslims to embrace its cultural and symbolic significance. World Wetlands Day 2nd February World Wetlands Day emerges as a global call to action, spotlighting the critical role wetlands play in our ecosystem. Amidst alarming degradation, this day advocates for the preservation of wetlands, essential for biodiversity and environmental equilibrium. Through global awareness campaigns and collaborative efforts, we strive to safeguard these vital habitats. Highlighting the ecological imperative, our Hero Ladybirds of the Galapagos Islands program, available in Victoria, underscores the delicate balance of ecosystems, emphasising the importance of environmental stewardship from a young age. Caring for Country (available in Queensland), is a great program which allows students to learn about Indigenous sustainability practices including bushfire prevention using fire-stick farming, bush tucker, and predicting rain just by the squawking of the Cockatoo. The Night Journey and Ascension (Al-Isra wal Mi’raj) 8th February Al-Isra wal Mi’raj holds profound significance in Islamic tradition, celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey and the divine revelation of prayer. Japan’s National Foundation Day 11th February Japan’s National Foundation Day celebrates the nation’s rich heritage and achievements, fostering community spirit and collective pride. Through parades and festivities, this day celebrates Japan’s contributions to culture, technology, and society, nurturing a sense of unity and progress. Our Japanese Cultural Education programs are all perfect if you are looking at celebrating this date.  Japanese Infusion (New South Wales) is a great program that brings culture to life while teaching children about the culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations through music, games and storytelling. We also offer Japanese Calligraphy and Japanese Ink Painting in Victoria which are both very exciting and interactive and hands on workshops! Another great interactive workshop is Taiko Drumming which is will leave the room shaking with the sound of the Taiko Drumming after students are introduced to Japanese Culture through Music and Language. World Day of Social Justice 20th February World Day of Social Justice underscores the imperative of equitable access to resources and opportunities, advocating for a fair and inclusive global society. International Mother Language Day 21st February International Mother Language Day celebrates linguistic diversity, recognising the profound significance of language in preserving heritage and fostering inclusive societies. Fairytale Puppetry (available in Victoria) explores different languages and cultures through exquisitely crafted traditional European hand puppets. This program is available in many different languages such as French, Mandarin, German, English, Spanish and more! Lantern Festival 24th February The Lantern Festival, steeped in tradition, marks the culmination of Lunar New Year celebrations, illuminating communities with radiant lanterns and cherished customs. Our Chinese Lantern making and Calligraphy (Victoria) workshop would be a great way to celebrate this in the classroom! If you were wanting more of a Dance focused workshop we also offer Chinese Lantern Dance workshop in Victoria. Dates to Commemorate: World Cancer Day 4th February World Cancer Day serves as a poignant reminder to raise awareness about cancer prevention, treatment, and support. With millions impacted annually, this day galvanises global action to combat the disease, emphasising prevention strategies and equitable access to care. Children’s Mental Health Week 5th – 11th February Children’s Mental Health Week advocates for open conversations and support systems to nurture the emotional wellbeing of young minds. Amidst rising concerns, this week underscores the importance of destigmatising mental health issues and providing resources for children and adolescents to navigate their emotional journeys. Cultural Infusion’s Yoga and Mindfulness program fosters emotional regulation and self-esteem among students in Victoria, Western Australia, and New South Wales, equipping them with valuable tools for mental relaxation and resilience. Stand up to Bullying Day 23rd February International Stand Up to Bullying Day rallies communities to combat bullying and promote empathy and respect, fostering safer and more inclusive environments for all. February is brimming with diverse celebrations that honour cultural heritage, foster unity, and champion social justice. As we bid farewell to February, let’s embark on a journey through March’s notable dates, including World Wildlife Day, International Women’s Day, and Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Considering the importance of these events, February highlights a diverse array of cultural celebrations and social initiatives, emphasizing the need to embrace our common humanity and strive for a more inclusive and compassionate world. Book your February celebrations now! Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of February. We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in March.

May Celebrations: Diversity, Education, and Awareness – this picture is of a series of paper side profile cut outs of heads in a range of skin tones, with a paper Earth in the middle.

May Celebrations: Cultural Diversity, Education, and Awareness

In our cultural calendar, the month is filled with various May celebrations from all around the world, such as World Belly Dance Day and Africa Day. The month even ends with National Reconciliation Week, to commemorate the history and culture of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.  May is known as the month of transition, where in the Northern Hemisphere, the fresh cold winds disappear, bringing along the blooming of flowers and chirping of birds. In Australia however, May is the final month of Autumn, transitioning into the beginning of Winter. But don’t worry – the weather is still mild, and it is an amazing time for sightseeing if you aren’t up for the sweltering heat!  Children’s Day Japan   5th May  The first celebration in our calendar to start of the exciting May is Children’s Day in Japan. This day, also known as Kodomo no hi, is a national holiday in Japan with its origins filled with rich history. It is a holiday to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. On this day, koinobori, a carp-shaped windsock, are typically flown on poles outside of public buildings and houses to symbolise their desire for children to become brave and strong individuals. Within their homes, families also display miniature Japanese armour and kabuto called Gogatsu Ningyo (May doll), as they represent courage and strength.  Our Japanese Infusion program brings Japanese culture to life, using songs, games and storytelling to teach children about Japanese culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations. This program is available face-to-face in New South Wales and online in all other states. Our Japanese Calligraphy and Japanese Ink Painting programs teach students different types of brush techniques and touch on Japanese history and origins. These programs are available in Victoria, guided by award-winning artist Junko.   We also offer Taiko Drumming programs in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. This traditional and original Japanese music program combines amazing performances and interactive workshops to introduce Japanese culture through music and language.  Cinco de Mayo   5th May  Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States to commemorate the triumph over the French empire in 1862. The day is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, as the victory of Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination, with military parades, speeches and reenactments of the battle.  Nowadays, celebrations include parades, parties, Mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional dishes such as tacos and mole poblano. In the United States, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are places that host some of the largest festivals.  Available in New South Wales, our Viva Mexico program explores the wonder of traditional Mexican and Spanish music. Students will learn folk dances and the basics of Spanish language through popular song lyrics. Not only that, but they’ll also get the opportunity to see performances with some Mariachi instruments up close while learning the cultural history of these instruments.   Latin American Dance (available in Victoria, New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and South Australia) and Latino Grooves (available in South Australia) are another two programs that explore these music traditions, this time in the form of dance! These educational programs introduce students to Latin dance styles like Salsa, Bachata and Tango, and provide insightful cultural history of the dances in Latin America.   World Belly Dance Day 11th May  Celebrated on the second Saturday of May every year, World Belly Dance Day was created to acknowledge the ancient art of belly dance and to dispel common misconceptions surrounding it. The Middle Eastern dance is characterised by intricate movements of the torso, hips and arms, often accompanied by vibrant music and elaborate costumes.  Belly dancing is a welcoming and inclusive art form that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, body types and fitness levels.   Whether you’re interested in exploring a new cultural tradition, getting a workout or simply having fun, our Middle Eastern Belly Dance program offers something for everyone. Through this program available in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, students get to explore Arabic cultures through stories and movement while also learning the meaning behind each move.  World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development   21st May  Sometimes abbreviated as World Day for Cultural Diversity, this day serves as an opportunity to promote the importance of cultural diversity and harmony in societies around the world. On this day, various events and activities are organised worldwide to raise awareness about the importance of cultural diversity and encourage dialogue and cooperation among different cultures. This is to emphasise the need to recognise and celebrate the richness of cultural heritage and creativity, while also promoting equal opportunities for individuals of all cultural backgrounds.   Our Multicultural Day program, available as both an All-Day and Half Day experience Australia-wide, is a perfect way for participants to immerse themselves in Australia’s rich diversity of ethnic communities. With a choice of three or five cultural presentations, participants can explore specific cultures or languages in-depth or travel the world with a range of assorted programs. To complement this experience, we also offer free educational resources and lesson plans to help navigate students through their comprehension of intercultural understanding.  International Day for Biological Diversity   22nd May International Day for Biological Diversity is commemorated annually to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and its conservation. It highlights the rich variety of life on Earth, including plants, animals and microorganisms, and emphasises the vital role biodiversity plays in sustaining ecosystems, providing ecosystem services, and supporting human well-being. The day aims to promote efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity, address the threats it faces such as habitat loss, climate change, pollution and overexploitation of resources, and encourage sustainable practices that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.   Hero Ladybirds Galapagos Islands is a scientific educational program we have, to help teach children basic ecology through quirky stories from firsthand experience and the help of cute hand puppets. This interactive educational program is presented by ecologist Carolina and is available in Victoria.   Africa Day   25th May  Africa Day is celebrated annually to promote unity and solidarity among African nations and advocating for the decolonisation of Africa. Africa Day serves as a reminder of the continent’s rich history, cultural diversity and ongoing struggle for independence, unity and development. It provides an opportunity for African people worldwide to celebrate their heritage, achievements and contributions to the world, while also reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing the continent today. Cultural festivals, conferences, seminars and discussions on topics related to African unity and development are held on this day.   In our Rhythms and Instruments of West Africa program, we showcase the musical cultures of West Africa through rhythms and songs from Ghana, Guinea and Senegal by introducing students to a wide range of African traditional instruments. Available in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, this fun and interactive program will give students the opportunity to play the drums and other percussion instruments firsthand!   Songs of Uganda and Mbira of Zimbabwe are interactive educational programs that center on the traditional instruments of Africa as well. Each unique to two different parts of Africa, students from Queensland and Western Australia respectively will learn the rich history of these African cultures while accompanying the presenters with instruments and by singing some traditional tunes.   Ethiopian Dance and Culture in Victoria explores the diversity of Ethiopian culture through songs, dance moves and stories. This highly interactive program presented by Seble teaches students the cultural significance behind the dance and music, while also sharing her experience travelling around the world with the Ethiopian Circus.  Dates to Commemorate:  National Sorry Day   26th May  National Sorry Day is a time for reflection and acknowledgment of the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous Australians. Stemming from the legacy of the Stolen Generations, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families, this day serves as a solemn reminder of past wrongs.  It’s a moment for all Australians to express remorse for these actions and to commit to reconciliation efforts. While National Sorry Day may be brief, its impact is profound, reminding us of the ongoing journey towards healing and unity in our nation.  As we observe National Sorry Day, let’s take the time to listen to the stories and experiences of the Stolen Generations survivors and their descendants in our Aboriginal Culture For A Day (available in Victoria) and Aboriginal Infusion (available in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales) educational programs. Let’s acknowledge the resilience and strength of Indigenous cultures and discover its beauty through dance, symbolic art, didgeridoo and a wide range of other engaging activities.   National Reconciliation Week   28th May to 3rd June  National Reconciliation Week (NRW) in Australia commemorates the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It is a time to reflect on our nation’s history, acknowledge the injustices and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples while celebrating their resilience and cultural richness. NRW empowers individuals and communities to address past wrongs with courage and compassion, paving the way for a more inclusive and reconciled Australia where all voices are heard and valued.  Aboriginal Storytelling Through Art in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales is a hands-on educational workshop where students will learn symbolic art from Aboriginal culture. This unique experience will give students the opportunity to create and share their own stories, perfect for intercultural experience at any age! Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts in New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and Western Australia on the other hand, combines storytelling with an introduction to the history of Aboriginal tools and artefacts. Students will get to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture throughout this program by acting out stories and engaging with cultural artefacts.  Book your May celebrations now!  Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide HERE to celebrate and commemorate important dates for the month of May.  Next month, we will join you again to introduce you to the cultural dates to celebrate in June! 

Learning Lands – Our award-winning online learning platform: this is a photo of a teacher surrounded by students, showing them something on her laptop

Learning Lands – Our award-winning online learning platform

Welcome to Learning Lands!   With over 20 years of experience delivering programs to educational facilities across Australia, Learning Lands has been developed together with teachers, designers, illustrators, and writers. It is a new and dynamic learning platform that provides engaging educational material for both students and teachers to learn about the world of diverse cultures.   From interactive games to stories and music, Learning Lands is a diverse learning space where students can explore where they learn best.   Learning Lands can be explored on our website here. By booking one of our many cultural education programs on offer, you will get 3 months of complimentary premium access to Learning Lands, with integrated teaching resources, hundreds of lesson plans that are Australian Curriculum coded, digital tools, videos, links, and a digital music studio of instruments from around the world. This will not only further complement the classroom curriculum but will also help promote a harmonious and inclusive learning environment for teachers and students.   Joko’s World in Learning platform For ages: Pre-school – Year 6 Ready to explore and learn about the world?  Welcome to Joko’s World!   Our internationally recognised and award-winning platform, Joko’s World, features a wide range of interactive and immersive educational gaming apps and stories. Designed for Early Childhood and primary school students, each game is based on the stories of the main character Joko, the blue bird who travels around the world.   Students will gain invaluable cultural knowledge and understanding through their engagement with stories, games, and further learning resources. Mobile games range from playing instruments to solving jigsaw puzzles and exploring different festivals around the world. From playing the flute through your phone to creating your own comic, in Joko’s World, the opportunities are endless.   Joko’s World provides diverse learning of geography, music, culture, and history from around the world through an engaging age suitable platform. This will aid in young people’s development by fostering curiosity, openness, and intercultural harmony.   Sound Infusion  For ages: Pre-school, Year 1 – Year 10  Did someone say music?   Welcome to Sound infusion!   Do you love the sound of the Egyptian bindīr, and also the Chinese bāwū?   At Sound Infusion you can combine them both along with instrumental sounds from many more countries.   Our award-winning digital sound studio Sound Infusion allows students of all ages to explore original recorded sounds of instruments from over 80 countries! From the Australian Didgeridoo to the Mo Nhip in Vietnam, this is musical diversity like no other.   Research shows that diverse learning approaches including the use of music, has many benefits for the development of children such as expanding agency and respect for others.   Students will have the opportunity to sample and create their own sound combinations leading to their own unique piece of culturally diverse tunes.   Sound infusion also offers an interactive map feature showing where each instrument originates from, along with providing geographic and cultural knowledge. Therefore, Sound Infusion’s unique interdisciplinary learning platform will further facilitate in strengthening intercultural understanding and harmony through music.    Mungo Explorer  For ages:  Year 4 & Year 7 Welcome to Mungo Explorer! If you teach Years 4 or 7, get ready to dive into the captivating history of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures. With a legacy stretching back over 50,000 years, these traditional cultures stands as one of the world’s oldest and most intriguing.  Our journey begins at Lake Mungo, nestled in the scenic landscapes of New South Wales, Australia. This ancient site not only holds deep cultural significance for First Nations communities but also offers a glimpse into Earth’s climatic history, including its experience during the ice age. Imagine Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander ancestors gathering around its shores, drawing both sustenance and spiritual strength from its waters.  Guiding our exploration is the groundbreaking work of Geologist Jim Bowler. His discoveries have reshaped our understanding of human history, shedding light on the profound connections between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures and the land. Through his findings, we unravel a narrative woven with both spiritual reverence and scientific insight.  In Mungo Explorer, we offer a variety of engaging lesson plans to suit different learning styles. From hands-on arts and crafts to immersive First Nations storytelling, our activities actively involve students in exploring traditional cultures, gaining valuable insights, and understanding. Through this interactive approach, students develop a deep appreciation and respect for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander histories.  By embracing a multidisciplinary approach that bridges spiritual and scientific knowledge, Mungo Explorer aims to instill in students a deep appreciation and respect for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritages. Through our journey together, we not only uncover the rich history of Australian identity but also learn the importance of honouring and preserving the cultural legacy that shapes us as a nation.   At the end of the program students will be equipped with deeper insights into Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories and a gained respect for the world’s oldest surviving culture.  Intercultural Understanding  For all ages Our Intercultural Understanding program is a cornerstone of our educational approach across all year levels, designed to instill in students a deep appreciation for the importance of respecting diverse cultures. Rooted in the Australian curriculum, our program offers a safe and engaging space for students to explore, learn, and collaborate.  Our resources are carefully crafted to guide students through a journey of self-discovery and cultural exploration. Activities such as “Exploring Personal Identity” and “Developing Intercultural Competency” serve as catalysts for reflection and growth, empowering students to navigate the complexities of cultural diversity with sensitivity and insight.  Drawing from various disciplines including History, Geography, and Languages, our program provides a comprehensive learning experience that caters to diverse learning styles. Whether through individual reflection or group collaboration, students are encouraged to actively engage with and appreciate the richness of cultural diversity.  At the heart of our program is a commitment to fostering genuine appreciation and celebration of cultural differences. By equipping students with the skills and mindset necessary to embrace diversity, we aim to cultivate a generation that values inclusivity and actively contributes to building intercultural harmony.  As we look towards the future, we are confident that the lessons learned through our program will empower students to become compassionate and culturally aware leaders in an increasingly interconnected world. ICAP (Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program)  For ages: Year 5 – Year 10  Let us delve into our Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program, or ICAP for short, tailored for students from Years 5 to 10. This comprehensive initiative, comprising two parts with a total of 16 sessions, serves as a vital tool in fostering cultural harmony within school environments.  ICAP offers an engaging blend of interactive activities, facilitated discussions, and immersive experiences, providing students with a hands-on approach to intercultural learning. Through these sessions, participants develop essential skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and ethical reasoning, alongside cultivating leadership abilities to advocate for cultural harmony and respect.  By the program’s conclusion, students will be equipped with a nuanced understanding of cultural diversity and the interpersonal skills necessary to navigate diverse environments with sensitivity and empathy. Our ICAP not only prepares students for success in an increasingly interconnected world but also cultivates a culture of inclusivity and appreciation for diversity within school communities.  Australia remains one of the world’s most culturally diverse nations and continues to diversify. Therefore, the importance of embedding intercultural understanding in education, remains crucial in promoting harmony in diverse communities.  Book a Cultural Education Program with us and Receive 3 Months Complimentary Access to Learning Lands  Our cultural education incursions cater to all year levels and audiences; providing interactive, vibrant, and memorable programs. Available Australia-wide, booking a program with us now will include free premium level access to Learning Lands for all teachers/educators at your facility for a period of 3 months! Explore our range of programs HERE and book today via our enquiry form or give us a call on 03 9412 6666.

Harmony Week Activities to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom - this photo features 3 West African performers, drumming at a Harmony Week Event.

Harmony Week Activities to Celebrate in the Classroom

As Harmony Week approaches (Monday, 18 to Sunday, 24 March 2024), it is an exciting opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge diversity within the Australian community and bring people together. This blog post explores Harmony Week Activities to celebrate in the classroom. As one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, Australia takes pride in its cultural diversity, a defining aspect of our national identity. Over half of Australians are first generation migrants or come from a migrant background, contributing to the diversity of Australia. This annual celebration symbolises inclusiveness, respect, celebrate diversity and fosters a profound sense of belonging for everyone. Harmony Week has been supported by the Australian Federal Government since 1999, and there are many activities that can share the richness of our collective diversity in commemoration of this annual celebration. In this piece, we will explore how teachers can celebrate Harmony Week in classroom celebrations, facilitating representation of members of the school community and meaningful connections. What is Harmony Week? Harmony Day, observed on March 21st, holds significant importance, marked as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day serves as a reminder to take a stand against racial discrimination and embrace our collective diversity. It also marks the remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, that arose from protests against the apartheid system in South Africa. In response to the tragic event, the United Nations intervened and proposed a week of solidarity among member states to collectively oppose racism in 1979. This annual observance serves as a poignant reminder of the distressing experience and challenges faced by racial minorities. In 1999, the Howard government in Australia introduced ‘Harmony Day’, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, focusing on building a more united multicultural society. The Department of Home Affairs takes the lead in Australia in celebrating Harmony Week, which is all about recognising and celebrating diversity, with inclusion activities happening throughout the entire week. In 2019, the Department of Home Affairs expanded the celebration, rebranding it as ‘Harmony Week’ to better acknowledge the diversity and inclusion activities occurring throughout the week, particularly in schools and workplaces. Harmony Week, celebrated from Monday to Sunday during the week that includes March 21, is dedicated to celebrating Australia’s rich multicultural heritage. This year, under the theme “Everyone Belongs,” Harmony Week is scheduled from Monday, March 18 to Sunday, March 24 2024. Here are our recommendations for enjoyable activities that teachers can integrate into their classrooms to promote the spirit of Harmony Week! 1. Embrace the spirit of Harmony Week by adding a pop of orange to your style or embracing a Traditional Attire Day! As part of the lively celebrations during Harmony Week, we are encouraged to incorporate a touch of orange into our outfits, symbolising unity and our shared commitment to an inclusive Australia. Teachers and schools are encouraged to source orange ribbons to distribute to the students throughout their Harmony Week celebrations. The colour orange not only embodies social communication and meaningful conversations, but also resonates with the freedom of ideas and the promotion of mutual respect. For students, this is the perfect opportunity to share their cultural heritage by dressing in traditional clothing. Arrange a mini fashion show, where students not only present their attire but also take a moment to explain the cultural significance behind their clothes. It is a wonderful way to connect, learn, and appreciate the diverse backgrounds that make up your school community. 2. Share and try new meals for Harmony Week: Host a Multicultural Food Day! They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and what better way to spread joy than by sharing delicious food and stories of our cultural backgrounds? Host a multicultural food day in your classroom, encouraging students to bring in dishes that represent their cultural backgrounds. Alternatively, spice things up with a fun cooking show where students and parents can team up to prepare a simple dish, all while sharing the fascinating stories behind the recipes. Cultural Infusion has a Recipes for Harmony Educational Supplement, packed with fantastic ideas for families looking to add a dash of cultural flair to their kitchen adventures! 3. Book an Incursion For Harmony Week with Cultural Infusion! Recognising the importance of living harmoniously in our diverse world, the Australian Curriculum now considers Intercultural Understanding as a fundamental General Capability. This aspect is important for equipping young individuals to become responsible citizens, both locally and globally. Cultural Infusion provides a diverse range of resources and cultural education programs for students. These resources are designed to assist students in embracing and exploring the rich diversity of cultures around the world, which you can book easily through our website. By emphasising this aspect in their education, we ensure that students are well-equipped for collaborative living and working in our interconnected 21st century world. Promoting intercultural understanding to students is crucial, and it can be achieved through enjoyable activities and engaging experiences that make learning more dynamic. The most effective way to understand and embrace a culture is through personal experience. Cultural Infusion also collaborates with diverse presenters to lead your students on an engaging exploration of various cultures, which cater to all year levels and encompass a global array of traditions and customs. Professional Development Cultural Infusion offers a wide array of curriculum-aligned programs and resources specifically designed for educators aiming to cultivate intercultural understanding, available in both virtual and in-person formats across the nation. Our Professional Development programs encompass topics such as: We are excited to share that for any bookings with Cultural Infusion, our Learning Lands platform will now be available for teachers/educators to access for free for 3 months. You’ll get to enjoy all that Learning Lands has to offer; with integrated teaching resources, hundreds of lesson plans that are Australian Curriculum coded, digital tools, videos, links and a digital music studio of instruments from around the world. Our resources are designed to foster empathy, critical and creative thinking, and a deeper understanding of different cultures. Multicultural Half-Day or All-Day Program Discover the vibrant world of diversity with Cultural Infusion’s Multicultural All Day or Half Day Program. You have the flexibility to choose between three or five presenters, and we will customise the schedule to fit seamlessly with your school’s bell times. Whether you prefer a deep dive into one specific culture, language, or topic, or you want to embark on a journey exploring a variety of cultures from around the globe, this program will have you covered. This program is your way to a tailored and enriching multicultural experience. One popular program to include in your Multicultural All Day is Bollywood Infusion, which present an energetic dance session in which participants will delve into the history and cultural significance of Bollywood and learn some moves, as well as, gaining insight into the symbolism behind various dance movements. Touring Program – Melanesian Infusion This year, we also have a touring program on offer, Melanesian Infusion, which immerses students in the rich cultural experience of Solomon Islands and the traditional art forms untouched by the outside world.  Natty, a prominent figure from the Lau Tribe as our presenter, aims to preserve the traditional cultures by sharing knowledge and providing a global experience and perspective unique to Melanesia through various activities such as, storytelling, traditional singing, instruments, and dance from the Solomon Islands. This program will be available in Victoria for March and April – perfect for Harmony Week activites, and you can easily book through this link! Book a Cultural Education Program for Harmony Week today! Our cultural incursions cater to all year levels and audiences; providing interactive, vibrant, and memorable programs. With a wide range of program options available Australia-wide, we celebrate diversity and cultures from around the world  Enquire today to explore how we can collaborate and create unforgettable cultural experiences that reflect the spirit of Harmony Week. Book a program through our enquiry form or contact us directly at 1800 010 069. Our Education and Experiences Team is always eager to assist. Secure the program of your choice to celebrate diversity, promote a sense of togetherness and enjoy 3 months of free intercultural education resources!