Last Saturday I was a meeting of Cultur (with a fada on the final ‘u’), the community organisation in Navan that works with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
Among those attending were women from Brazil, Sudan, Ghana and Nigeria.
A local Garda turned up to give them some idea of family disciplinary methods that are illegal in Ireland. Some of the punishment common in their home counties are banned here. It was a practical example of the cultural problems migrant families face – not just with the culture of the locals but with their own children who get new ideas in local schools that conflict with traditions back home.
There was also a young man from Monaghan there to encourage them to learn Irish!
‘Inclusion’ was a word often mentioned, they want to feel part of the local community.
There were no Chinese in sight though they do have a presence in Navan. The reason for their absence was that ‘they like to keep to themselves and are hard to get to know.’ That phenomenon is something I know only too well from my effort to contact Chinese in Dublin.
The Cultur Group were getting ready to join in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Navan.
They are a great bunch of people and the wider Navan community seem to be doing their best to ‘include’ them.