Diversity of nations united at Norwich church 

International Celebration 059
National dishes and traditional entertainment from over ten different countries were showcased at Eternity Norwich at a special international celebration on March 22.

By Helen Baldry

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The event was held at the Eternity Norwich premises on Earlham Green Lane in Norwich and was the second time a celebration of this sort has been held. Flora Nundy organised a similar event in 2011 which was a resounding success and this year there was even more delicious food served from countries including Congo, Ghana, Hungary, India, Nigeria and Great Britain.

The regular congregation at the church is made up of people from numerous countries, which prompted organiser Flora, originally from India, to hold the event again which celebrates unity in the diverse cultures within the church.

International Celebration 008Flora explained that within many of the cultures featured, food is very important and it is part of people’s culture to cook extra food and always be ready to serve guests who might arrive unannounced. Food is integral to how families communicate and is a way to nurture people and to express love.

On the night, guests were given tickets which they traded to sample various traditional fare which included Hungarian sausage, gari and dried fish from Ghana, chapati and curry from India, bobotie from South Africa and mashed potato and mushy peas from Great Britain.

International Celebration 051Nick Nundy spoke about Revelation 7, when people from each tribe gather before the throne of God. Nick said there will be people from every nation in heaven. He said, “I’m glad that heaven is like that. We are very privileged at Eternity Norwich that by the grace of God on a Sunday morning we have people from so many nations. It’s just like a small taste of heaven where we’re worshipping God together.”

After the food, people from different countries provided entertainment, which included songs, dancing and a panto.

International Celebration 013South African Paddy Venner - who with his wife Jennike lead the church - sang Jabulani, a song written in 1980s South Africa during times of political change. He went on to sing Bayeti Inkozi, which became popular after apartheid was dismantled. It translates as “Here comes the exalted King.”

Nigerian representatives sang songs in three different dialects, there was a soloist singing a Philippino song and vibrant music and dancing from India and Ghana. The grand finale was a panto sketch complete with well endowed pantomime dame, sweets for the crowd and a large white rabbit.
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