surinenglish

An international flavour in Manilva

International residents line up with their flags outisde the Castillo de la Duquesa.
International residents line up with their flags outisde the Castillo de la Duquesa. / SUR
  • Organisers are celebrating after a larger-than-expected turnout at this year's international day

Thousands of people descended on the Castillo de la Duquesa for Manilva's annual International Day last Saturday.

The family festival saw 25 different nationalities put up colourful stands around the historic castle to showcase the best their country had to offer.

During the event scores of singers and dancers took to the stage including English singer Rachael Hawnt - who recently performed in the BBC's TV show All Together Now.

Dean Shelton, 44, councillor of Foreign Affairs at Manilva council, told SUR in English: “We literally had thousands of people turning up throughout the day. The numbers were up massively on last year. So much so we are thinking of doing two days next year.

“It's basically an international day on a much smaller scale than the Pueblos international festival in Fuengirola. It gives nationalities around Manilva the opportunity to present their customs, dress, sports, food and their flag to the local community here.”

Dean said they had stands from countries including: Brazil, Ukraine, the United States, Russia, England, Ireland, Cuba, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Morocco, Thailand, Bangladesh and Spain.

Organised by the Foreign Residents Department in Manilva, the event is designed to bring the various communities living in the town together.

Dean explained: “It's about integration, that's what we are trying to do. It's an event where different cultures get to present their country. It's about making foreign nationalities welcome here in Manilva.”

Manilva, which includes the Puerto de la Duquesa, Sabinillas and Castillo de la Duquesa, has some 16,000 residents, of which 42 per cent are foreigners.

Dean added: “It was the biggest and most successful International Day we've had in Manilva to date. We are extremely happy with how it went.”