Sunderland school carnival offers a taste of other cultures

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Tots and older children alike were treated to a melting pot of international activities at a carnival of culture held at a children’s centre.

Saturday morning saw about 200 people turn out at Highfield Children’s Centre on the Ford Estate to explore colourful displays and activities.

Women Of The World, from left, Sabina Yasmin, Bushra Rahman and Nina Begum serving up Bangladeshi food.

Women Of The World, from left, Sabina Yasmin, Bushra Rahman and Nina Begum serving up Bangladeshi food.

This year’s annual open day at the centre, at Highfield School, in Fordfield Road, was given an international theme.

Catering for babies to 12-year-olds, the event saw youngsters step on board a visiting fire engine and explore a police car, as well as trying out a climbing wall.

There were name-the-flag games, carnival dressing-up sessions, face-painting and African drumming workshops.

Bangladeshi henna tattoos were also on offer, and those feeling peckish were able to sample traditional Asian, Chinese, African and European food.

We wanted everybody to see how people in different countries live and eat – things they wouldn’t otherwise experience.

Tim Hakim

Visitors could also make a native American headdress.

Tim Hakim, children’s centre leader for the west of the city, said: “It’s our annual open morning, and the theme this year is carnival of culture. We’ve had a steady flow of people, probably around 200.

“We wanted everybody to see how people in different countries live and eat – things they wouldn’t otherwise experience.”

The centre, featuring a sensory room and soft-play facilities, is open every Saturday during term-time, and it’s free to visit.

Bushra Rahman dressing Claire Hardy in a sari and hajab.

Bushra Rahman dressing Claire Hardy in a sari and hajab.

There are also music classes and football training from 9am to 11am, both at Highfield School and at its sister centre in Thorney Close.

For more information, call 553 4127.

Kieron Cain, Kai Williams, Esme Hanaghon and Olivia Williams dress up in carnival wear by The Creative Seed.

Kieron Cain, Kai Williams, Esme Hanaghon and Olivia Williams dress up in carnival wear by The Creative Seed.

Abbey Rackstraw and Sophie Campbell wearing carnival dresses by The Creative Seed.

Abbey Rackstraw and Sophie Campbell wearing carnival dresses by The Creative Seed.

Henna artist Parul Khan at work at the Highfield carnival of culture.

Henna artist Parul Khan at work at the Highfield carnival of culture.