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! 

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.  

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!