A WEEKEND of events to celebrate cultural diversity has been held in Carlisle.

Organised by Multicultural Carlisle, the 2019 Culture Bazaar returned for a ninth year at Richard Rose Central Academy and Carlisle Youth Zone for a two-day extravaganza.

Attendees had the chance to take part in a range of workshops and watch a variety of performances, which shine a light on more than 50 nationalities and heritages who live and work in the city.

There was also the chance to see some food demonstrations, play games including Caromboard - a south Asian board game with similarities to snooker and flat discs, hear music, and watch bollywood dances, tai chi, and a Chinese Lion Dance.

Founder and chief officer of Multicultural Carlisle, Saj Ghafoor told the News & Star: “I started this back in 2007, and even though we’ve lived here for many years, we didn’t know how diverse Carlisle was.

“This is a very community-based event, and it is about empowering the community themselves to stand up and say this is who we are, and be proud of their background.

“We wanted different ethnic minorities to tell us what they want to do, as it is their culture, their faith, their music, and they are the ones who are going to make it carry on.

“The culture bazaar empowers the different communities, gives them a sense of belonging, and gives them a sense of being appreciated in the wider community.

“That aspect is really, really important to me.”

At last year’s event, one attendee was so inspired, she asked Saj’s team if she could get involved.

“We had Joy, a Nigerian dancer, who just came to watch the event, and she pulled one of my colleagues to one side and asked if she could get on the stage and dance.

“She was amazing, and we’ve had her back this year.

“Joy got the crowd on the stage on Saturday, and taught them Nigerian dancing, she was fantastic.

“When you find people like that, it is just brilliant.”