FAST dancing, flashes of brilliant colour and plenty of food.
This was how Colombian Independence Day was celebrated in Invercargill on Saturday.
Colombian Fusion, a collaboration between the Southland Multicultural Trust and Mar Colombia, involved an explanation of the importance of the day as well as a showcase of Colombian culture.
Held at the Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) Hansen Hall, the room was crowded with laughing and smiling guests and dancers, with several opportunities for the audience to get up and celebrate as well.
This year there was also the first campus ceremony.
Officially, celebrations happened on Tuesday, and SIT staff member Adriana Rincon, who was originally from Colombia, said there was a great deal of excitement building for the day.
It involved a flag-raising ceremony, the playing of the Colombian national anthem, Oh Gloria Inmarcesible! (Oh Unfading Glory!), followed by a morning tea with traditional Colombian food.
She said more than a dozen Colombians were enrolled in mainstream programmes. Their numbers attending SIT had reached the threshold to acknowledge them as a community.
It meant a lot to the students to have SIT observe their national day with a flag-raising ceremony, she said.
“It’s really important when we see our flag raised at SIT, it’s even more important when you live overseas, away from your home country.”