On March 26, the Information Centre for Newcomers (ICN) invited interested persons to the cultural evening of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where guests from Latvia, Russia, Syria worked together, jointly learning the dialect, cultural traditions and also myths about the country, which we idealise as a “little paradise” for the beauty of its nature.
“This culture we know so poorly seems very exotic to us. We are glad that Harley, who has been living in Latvia for two years only, showed this all to us in person,” shares her impressions the volunteer and work coordinator Ramona Liepiņa. She tells that Harley Barney William has been a volunteer of the Information Centre for Newcomers for several months.
When asked about his motivation to organise such an event and work as a volunteer, Harley emphasises: “Until now, the Latvian population has been supportive and forthcoming, so I want to get involved myself, help and do good things, as I live in Latvia!”
At the cultural evening, joy intertwined with the Limbo dance, games, work songs and cultural meals of Saint Vincent: brown sugar glazed chicken, brown rise cooked in coconut milk, spiced fruit and glazed nuts – not what we are used to, but very delicious! The evening closed with a joint picture at the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines made by Harley’s wife, who is Latvian.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are a group of 32 islands occupying just 389 km2, of which 344 km2 are occupied by Saint Vincent and the remaining 44 km2 are Grenadines islands. This area is populated by less than 110,000 people, the island is washed by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This exotic place was filmed in the well-known movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. The life on the island is idyll, where you can enjoy rainforests, sky blue water, white beaches, beautiful sunsets, gorgeous Caribbean festivals, reggae and different rums, of course. Every year, Saint Vincent holds an impressive Vincy Mas carnival, which they start to celebrate in May and end at the end of July. The beauty of nature and colourful culture are also reflected in the flag, which symbolises the sun, the sea and green leaves.
ICN began its work as a one-stop-agency on 18 May 2016. ICN Riga office operates as a coordinating centre in Latvia. It provides assistance in dealing with problems of a particular customer and supports the ICN focal points/branches in the regions (in Cesis, Jelgava, Liepaja and Daugavpils) with regard to provision of services, ensures professional support to service providers in all municipalities in Latvia, coordinates awareness and availability of services to various groups of immigrants.
The activity of the Information Centre for Newcomers within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is ensured and developed by the NGO “Shelter “Safe House””. The centre is co-funded by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2017/2/01.