Frontpage News 2012 Multicultural street festival marked H4C anniversary

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Multicultural street festival marked H4C anniversary

On Sunday 6th of May, hundreds of people from all over Cyprus joined the birthday celebrations at the Home for Cooperation (H4C). This bi-communal activity centre was established with support from the EEA and Norway Grants.

One year ago, the H4C was inaugurated in the presence of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders. Since then, this multi-cultural activity centre has spurred new life into the UN-controlled buffer-zone in Nicosia. On the occasion of the one-year anniversary, the Ledra Palace buffer zone was filled with an array of colours, languages, music and food with children of all ages, along with adults, joining the activities on offer, including painting, graffiti, a music workshop and traditional Cypriot games. Laughter was also heard throughout the street, as people at the H4C birthday party joined over 65 countries around the world to laugh for world peace and enjoy the dynamic yoga laughter session that took place.

The celebrations were not just confined to the H4C and buffer zone, as the Association for Historical Dialogue & Research (AHDR) launched its first “Cycling 4 Cooperation” bicycle tours which offered an alternative cultural experience of the city of Nicosia. Over 50 young people and adults cycled around the city promoting the notion of cooperation. Dancing was also part of the celebrations with a surprise – dancing in the street! See pictures

A place open to dialogue and dispute

Anyone present at the festivities could observe alternative dynamic and creative individuals who revealed the power of cooperation, dialogue and coexistence. As Dr. Kyriakos Pachoulides, President of AHDR underlined in his short speech “During the last year the H4C has been transformed into a warm and welcoming space for all those Cypriots and non-Cypriots who seek an alternative place of sociability in Nicosia, and in Cyprus in general. A place open to dialogue and dispute, a welcoming setting for everybody, regardless of their language, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic background.

During this year, some thousands of people have had the opportunity to come to the H4C to participate in one or more of the many and diverse activities that have taken place here. Thanks to all those people, and to the many organisations and groups of people who have organized these many events; it is through these efforts that the H4C has been able to contribute to the realization of its vision that initiated its creation: the transformation of the so called dead zone, into an active and dynamic environment, full of life, a zone of cooperation and creative interaction”.

Continued support

According to the newest agreement with Cyprus, the Norway Grants continues its support to the Home for Cooperation. Norway has set aside €600,000 to support the strengthening of the sustainability of the H4C, including outreach activities and activities by the AHDR to develop dialogue on history teaching. The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) founded the H4C.

Photo: Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC)