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A world of people come together for international day

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Bermuda International Day at Elbow Beach (Photogrph by Blaire Simmons)

Beachgoers enjoyed a celebration of different countries and cultures at a Bermuda International Day.

The event at Elbow Beach on Saturday included music, dancing, a sandcastle workshop, games and a charity raffle.

Organiser Denzil Nelson explained: “It’s just to exchange cultures.

“I reached out to every single ethnic group that I could think of, my friends and everybody else.

“I invited everybody to come – bring a tent, bring a native dish, tell us about your food, tell us about your culture, tell us about some of the challenges you have in your country so that we can know who you are.

“There are so many people who are born Bermudians, but guess what? Their parents are from somewhere else or their grandparents are from somewhere else.

“At the end of the day, I recognise that we need to protect Bermuda but that conversation is long, it’s lengthy and I think the solution comes through education.”

Bermuda International Day at Elbow Beach (Photogrph by Blaire Simmons)

He added: “We spend all this money marketing Bermuda to internationals from all over the world as opposed to utilising the foreigners that are already here to intentionally create content.”

Mr Nelson, whose wife is Ukrainian, said Italy, Spain, the US, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic were also among those represented by people in attendance.

He added: “I would love to make this an annual experience and it doesn’t have to be on the same date but the goal is to make sure that I collaborate with the local international organisations.

“I want to be able to work with the respective subgroups that are living here to be able to build these intentional, deliberate cultural exchanges.”

Mr Nelson said it was important to him that the event was eco-conscious.

Organisers teamed up with Keep Bermuda Beautiful, who helped put together a waste management plan.

Bermuda International Day at Elbow Beach (Photogrph by Blaire Simmons)

Alisa Lockwood set up games to raise funds for the environmental charity.

Her mother is from Ukraine, her father is from New Zealand, and she grew up in Canada.

Ms Lockwood said: “Given my connection with Ukraine and what’s happening there right now, that really has added urgency to support understanding between nations because it’s so tragic and so unnecessary.

“I really want to have a future for my children where we all get along.”

April Reynolds, from England, was celebrating at the event with friends who were visiting. She said the music was great.

Bermuda International Day at Elbow Beach (Photogrph by Blaire Simmons)

Oleksandr Kryvchenko, from Ukraine, and his group offered guests traditional Ukrainian food and even clothing.

He said: “We’re not charging any money but we have a donation box if somebody wants to feel free to donate.”

The group has a $45,000 target to help rebuild a school that was damaged by bombing in his home country.

Mr Kryvchenko said international day was “beautiful”.

But he added: “We’re just using this opportunity to share with people our culture and I want to draw attention to this problem because the war is still going, people are still dying there, we need support.”

Bermuda International Day at Elbow Beach (Photogrph by Blaire Simmons)

The Bermuda International Day website said: “Bermuda boasts a vast international ex-pat community and its incredibly diverse multinational-Bermudian population.

“Who are these people? Where do they communicate? How do they express their cultural identity? What social challenges are impacting their communities?”

The website added: “We believe that this is an initiative that every organisation can and should get involved in because we all benefit from observing this rich cultural exchange, both professionally and personally.

“The same international community we deliberately celebrate through this experience are your customers, employees, friends, and neighbours.”

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Published July 04, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated July 04, 2022 at 7:43 am)

A world of people come together for international day

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