Polish 1Polish 2Polish 3Polish 4DDE had some great celebrations both on the 25th March and 2nd April when they celebrated and learnt about Polish Easter as part of the year long project Celebrate! Exeter’s Diver-city.

In March, the first community workshop was held in St Thomas. Over 120 adults and 50 children all came together to share in Polish culture and food and spend time together. People tried out various activities, including making Pierogi (Polish dumplings), singing some folk songs, and learning some Polish language. Delicious food was kindly provided by local businesses Maja Deli and the Polish Bread Bakery.

On Sunday 2nd April, we held a further celebration afternoon and community feast. All were welcome and people from different backgrounds, ages and faiths all came together to learn more about Polish culture and the local Exeter Polish community.

Here are some more photos of the event ... 

Activities included: traditional Polish Easter egg painting called Pisanki, global games, a ‘human library where we could meet others and hear their stories, Yiddish songs and music and various children’s activities. We finished with a huge Polish feast of again very generously donated food from the local delicatessen Maja and of course wonderful dishes of of regional Polish food cooked for us by the local Polish community. 

Polish community lead Aga Kowlaska, said that "Both events were fantastic! It was great to have an opportunity for us Poles to get together, to share our culture, traditions and stories with other members of the Exeter community. We did not realise people were so interested in us. We were expecting about 30 people to the workshops and ended up with over 120 adults and 50 children. Just Brilliant!

Project Coordinator Sandhya Dave expressed "how the celebrations on both days were so heart-warming. It was a simple coming together of different communities who are interested in each others’ lives and want to hear each others’ stories. Sadly racism does exist in Exeter, as well as a fear of strangers (xenophobia). Our year long project seeks to restate how the city of Exeter is and always has been a welcoming and inclusive city, in order to challenge the narrative of making people into the ‘Other’. Both these celebrations clearly showed how there is a need for this project.