MARRICKVILLE FESTIVAL – a multicultural Sydney snapshot

It's a cliché, but we do live in a melting pot. Click on this photo, zoom in and you'll see it happening.

The annual Marrickville Festival is not exactly a spontaneous event. The council, keen to promote goodwill, harmony and understanding, funds and organises it. But we’re always willing to join in when it happens.

About 79,000 of us live in the Marrickville local government area. That’s enough to make us a good-sized town.

We live in one of the more mixed districts of Sydney, with about one in three of us born overseas and roughly the same number speaking a language other than English at home. We get on with each other very well, considering our diversity. No one ethnic group predominates, though the largest language groups of non-native English speakers are Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Portuguese and Arabic.

On average we’re a little better educated than the rest of Sydney – nearly two thirds of us have some sort of tertiary qualification. Our incomes are marginally higher than the city average.

Politically we lean a little to the left. Labour and Green parties traditionally do well here.

It is sometimes said about multiculturalism that although most Australians work with colleagues from different ethnic backgrounds and live with them as neighbours, they tend not to socialise with them. This changes a bit when the festival is on, though most of us come to the festival not to meet our neighbours, but to eat an interesting cheap lunch.

The Portuguese BBQ chicken burgers are ever popular.

The paella looks great too, and there's sangria to wash it down with.

The Germans contribute to our heart attacks with bratwurst and sauerkraut.

There are usually some imaginative art and crafts on sale. These 'old' signs caught a lot of eyes.

Political and community groups take the opportunity to make their voices heard. No, we don't want coal gas drilling under Marrickville.

The constabulary are there if they're needed, but nobody's causing them any trouble.

The bands play on and a very good time is had by all.

Popular, friendly, well-run, unpretentious, not too crowded - long may it continue!


Filed under Travel-Australia

5 responses to “MARRICKVILLE FESTIVAL – a multicultural Sydney snapshot

  1. Food queues were long, weather was boiling but the vibe was great! Loved all the support for the greenway. Didn’t see you but it felt like all 79,000 were there in force.

  2. Yes, Libby we signed the Greenway petition too.

    Another bit of Marrickville trivia from my census research – 45% drive the car to work, 46% use public transport, 7% walk, 2% cycle. Oh, and 5% work from home, making 105%. Marrickville maths teaching and/or form-filling in needs a bit more work.

  3. I heart Marrickville!! I happened to pass by both the Marrickville festival and the Summer Hill festival this weekend and the Marrickville one looked decidedly more exciting by a mile. Hope you’re enjoying life back in Sydney for now!

    • Thanks, SDs.

      Had I known about the Summer Hill Festival I would have checked it out too. It’s a rather more upmarket area than Marrickville, with an excellent primary school (great staff and kids and the only school I’ve ever visited where the canteen makes real coffee!) But perhaps Marrickville would win the cultural mix award.

  4. I was at the Haberfield Food Festival that day. So many festivals to choose from in Sydney at this time of year- love it.

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