EVENT: Celebrating different cultures on Merseyside

Lion Dance Training at Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Club. Photo credit: Monika Koeck

The University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture is hosting a celebration of the diverse mix of cultures living on Merseyside.

Taking place on Tuesday 25 July in the Victoria Gallery and Museum’s Leggate Theatre between 3pm and 5pm, the event will show how interactions between our diverse communities have given rise to exciting new cultural practices in the melting pot of Merseyside.

In addition to debates and film screenings, the event will also showcase unique musical performances led by the violinist Mr. Peter Morgan, an experienced teacher and music player, featuring children residing in Merseyside. These children, hailing from various countries, are all learning to play the violin. Each child will perform a song from their own country, and subsequently, they will unite to perform an Irish folk song.

people sitting round a table and playing violins

Mr. Peter Morgan and his Talented Students Harmonise with Musicians in the Saddle Inn, Liverpool. Photo credit: Monika Koeck

The event forms part of a research project entitled Safeguarding Transplanted and Indigenous Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK which explores how migration and mixing of nationalities in places such as Liverpool means that cultural heritage is constantly evolving.

Research conducted with interviews and focus groups from different nationalities (including British, Bulgarian, Gibraltarian, Chinese, Irish, Iraqi, Polish, Finnish, Somali, Syrian, and Saudi) found that relocated and resettled traditions from different places change how heritage is perceived and how it affects communities that settle in Liverpool. For example, Chinese New Year celebrations have become an integral part of Liverpool’s cultural traditions over the years. A significant number of the individuals spearheading Chinese New Year celebrations are not of Chinese descent. Their involvement is testament to their dedication in ensuring that this rich cultural heritage continues to flourish and is meticulously preserved, irrespective of their own cultural backgrounds.

Speakers at the event will include Professor Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

Organiser Dr Ataa Alsalloum, Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Heritage said: “Ever since the inauguration of our Intangible Cultural Heritage project in 2021, we’ve been delighted to invite individuals from a variety of cultures across Merseyside to the University of Liverpool, offering them a platform to express their cultural heritage and its significance.

“It’s incredibly inspiring to witness the connections that have resulted from this project. Notably, individuals from the Syrian community of Merseyside have joined hands with people from diverse backgrounds to form dance groups, showcasing traditional Syrian dances at various events. It’s profoundly humbling to realize the role our research has played in facilitating these connections.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to our campus on 25 July for a further celebration of the dynamic evolution of cultural heritage across Merseyside.”

The event will take place on Tuesday 25 July between 3pm and 5pm in the Victoria Gallery and Museum, Ashton Street, Liverpool, L69 3DR. It is free and open to all to attend but you can register your interest and book tickets here: TRANSCULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE UK Tickets, Tue 25 Jul 2023 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

People dancing around a maypole

A Vibrant Maypole Dance Uniting Diverse Communities at Squash Liverpool Gardens. Photo credit: Monika Koeck