Along with some of my colleagues I have been lucky enough to have been sent by Christchurch City Libraries to the 2010 New Zealand Diversity forum, which was held in Christchurch this year. The forum is an annual activity of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme which has three key objectives: To recognise and celebrate cultural diversity, promote equality and foster harmonious relations.
The convention centre was filled with colour, vibrancy and a multitude of languages, and the Library was there with a booth highlighting some of the resources that we have
I enjoyed a session where we were treated to stories from women of Indian, Chinese, Dalmatian and Lebanese descent talking about what it was like for their families, and especially their mothers assimilating into a new country. Their mothers were central to keeping the family cultural identity. Often they had very little English, but they provided the family with familiar food, customs and language which kept their cultures and families connected.
A few book titles were mentioned and you can find them in our library:
- Indian settlers: The story of a South Asian community by Jacqueline Leckie
- Tarara: Croats and Maori in New Zealand: memory, belonging, identity by Senka Bozic-Vrbaneecic.
- Unfolding history, evolving identity: The Chinese in New Zealand
Our webpages also have information for new migrants, or those wanting to find out more about their histories: