Buddhists, Christians and Sikh’s come together for Sunderland interfaith celebration

Rev Chris Howson (front right) with some of those about to set off from Sunderland Minster on an inter-faith walk as part of International Inter-faith Week.
Rev Chris Howson (front right) with some of those about to set off from Sunderland Minster on an inter-faith walk as part of International Inter-faith Week.
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HUNDREDS of people have taken part in events celebrating the melting pot of diverse cultures and religions across Sunderland.

The Interfaith Walk of Peace took place yesterday, stopping off at places of worship throughout the city.

Organised by Sunderland Interfaith Forum as part of Interfaith Week, the walk was a chance for people to explore a variety of religions represented across the city.

Setting off from Sunderland Minster Church, the walkers took in the Sunderland Buddhist Temple, followed by the Sikh Gurdwara in The Cloisters, where they were treated to a free meal.

Walkers then headed to the Chester Road Mosque, finishing up at the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Convent.

On Saturday night, food and entertainment from all four corners of the globe was on offer at Sunderland University as its Celebration of Diversity event returned for a fifth year.

The jam-packed evening, which coincided with the United Nations’ International Day of Tolerance, was the highlight of the university’s Diversity Month.

The eclectic mix of performers included musicians playing guitars, ukuleles and the piano, Bulgarian, Irish and Gangnam-style dancers, Chinese rappers and African drummers.

It was the biggest such event as the cultural extravaganza has been growing year-on-year.

Event co-ordinator and student contact officer Jan Spalek, who is Slovakian, said: “It was very well attended, we had more than 350 people.

“The food was from literally every single corner of the world. It was cooked by the students, and each group was given a small budget.”

“We had Malaysian food, Indonesian, Polish, Bulgarian, Cypriot and British food.”

Jan is also the organiser of Diversity Month, which promises more than 30 activities.

He said: “It’s not only about engaging our students. It’s about going out into the community and showing the value that different cultures bring to Sunderland.

“This has been the biggest event so far. We were taken by surprise how busy it was.”

Student union president Carl Taylor said: “It was such a fantastic evening, to see so many international students enjoying themselves, and members of the community. It really was as diverse an evening as you could possibly get.”

For a list of all the Diversity Month events, visit www.sunderlandsu.co.uk