Sunday, 10 March 2013

An International weekend

Celebrating Sanctuary celebrates the contribution of refugees and asylum seekers in Britain. In this case, specifically through the musical traditions of their respective countries of origin.
Chinese traditional music group Jasmine Moon play beautifully, with their Chinese lead on keyboards, an English student of Chinese music on a variety of wooden flutes, with Shanghai born Guhzheng player (a Chinese instrument sounding something like a harp).
They were prefaced by some entrancing playing of traditional Sufi music from an Iranian virtuoso now based in Wolverhampton. There's a clip of an earlier performance on YouTube.
This was held at the Ort Café in Balsall Heath, one of those hidden treasures of Birmingham that more people are getting to know.
Ort Café page

Today we enjoyed a Meetup group, the online network which gets people to meet together in person, with Germans, Austrians, British, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, New Zealanders and Bulgarians all represented!

None of this would be possible if Birmingham wasn't home to those working, studying or seeking refuge here. For me it's so important that the anti-EU voices, the anti-refugee hate campaigns (for that's what they amount to) and all those fearful and at worst xenophobic tirades from right-wing presses and parties are opposed. Don't try to appease UKIP and the rest. Let us be a home for those fleeing persecution. Welcome the talented and hard-working people I know from Germany and elsewhere help to build up our ailing economy (and remember that it may be thanks to German ownership that companies here are still in action).
Enjoy the positive spirit and energy these people often bring, and show how Birmingham can really be a home for everyone.


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