A Garden Full of Asian Delights

CULTIVATING FRIENDSHIPS THROUGH FOOD, MUSIC, ART & CREATIVE TALENT

An inter group project of Hastings and District Interfaith Forum in conjunction with Hastings Intercultural Organisation, the Friends of St. Leonards Gardens and Respond Academy Funded by Sussex Community Foundation

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On Sunday 1st August in St Leonards Gardens none of us needed to make a special effort to enjoy the blue sky, the beautiful surroundings and the company of so many others in 'A Garden Full of Asian Delights’, because all together we contributed to an unforgettable, fun filled, family afternoon. After a few warm and welcoming words from Council Leader Jeremy Birch, the event was declared open by Hastings Mayor, Kim Forward. Younger family members found their way to the play area provided by In2Play and The Play Development Team, where tiny tots took great delight in soggy corn-flour paste, art and games.

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Exotic foods were prepared by local restaurants: the beautifully served Middle Eastern foods came from ADA in Bexhill, the delicious Chinese dishes from The Peking Gardens in St. Leonards and the aromatic flavour-some Bengali food from The Curry Hut in Bohemia Road. Throughout the afternoon people queued and chatted, eager for their taste of Asian Delight. This built on and added to the mingling of cultures and good-natured atmosphere that pervaded the whole afternoon.

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The art materials on the Poster Table invited artists young and old to experiment with pastels and charcoal, as they captured their interpretation of The Garden of Asian delights. Amber Rudd, our local MP, presented the prizes.

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The Talent Contest provided beautiful entertainment as a back-drop to the open air dining. All of the participants were welcomed with enthusiasm by the audience and rewarded for their efforts with prizes presented by Linda Sedden of Hastings Intercultural Organisation.

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Friendships were made as the efforts to bring together our diverse and talented community blossomed in the sunshine, aromas of Asia, enthusiasm of our performers, joyful play of our children and warm attention of the good and great. It was wonderful just being there and we were left with uplifting memories and a desire to DO IT AGAIN!!

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The whole project was delivered by an inter group effort. Everyone played their part and worked to contribute to the success of the day, each became wiser as we opened and exchanged ideas, skills and talents. Together we became a cohesive and adaptable working unit that marvelled at what was accomplished. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers and the vibrant community of St. Leonards, Bexhill and Hastings and especially to our partners.

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