The fair where cultures meet

14th July 1995 at 01:00
It sounds worthy as hell, but the annual Barnet Multicultural Fair is two days of terrific dancing, good sounds, books, toys and arts and crafts from all over the world to look at and buy, and an atmosphere that pumps out positive images and feelings about living, teaching and learning in a multicultural society.

When it first started nine years ago, the fair featured just 20 exhibitors and 200 visitors over two days. Last week, a crowd estimated at over 1,200 circulated around 85 stalls containing a huge range of resources from distributors, publishers and manufacturers.

Among them was Roy Yates Books, which sells just about every known dual-language book in print. There was a Bosnian English, English Bosnian dictionary, The Hungry Caterpillar and Spot Goes to School in Somali and English and an impressive number of well-known and more obscure dual-language texts in the major South Asian community languages, Japanese, Vietnamese and more.

Other stalls featured a small number of specialised items. Seed Publications, a west London-based company, produces number friezes and puzzles featuring black children and a Carnival colouring book complete with vibrant colour photographs from the annual Notting Hill event.

Nearby, religious artefacts from around the world were displayed: a model of the Buddha sat happily next to a pair of Jewish Sabbath candlesticks. Knock On Wood distributes musical instruments from Asia and Africa. Trentham Books showed its impressive range of books on anti-racism and multiculturalism in the classroom. Kimm Barrall Design exhibited its West African drums, fabrics and artefacts.

There were "multicultural role-play costumes" from J and M Toys, maths books from 65 different cultures from Kingscourt Publishing, computer software in a range of minority community languages from Lingua Language Services and Minority Rights Group's excellent research reports on minorities around the world.

The sheer size and scope of the fair makes it one of the few showcases of its kind in the country. Chris Henshaw, Barnet's advisory teacher for equal opportunities multicultural education and also the fair's organiser, was impressed with the crowds this year. "This exhibition is not just about buying books with black faces in them. It's about equality and justice for all people."

For information about the permanent Multicultural Study Centre run by Barnet or for details about exhibitors at the fair, ring Chris Henshaw on 0181 359 38803881.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now