What an “infectious” joy!

Intercultural women’s festival for International Women’s Day 2024

Rheine. Once again this year, the migration and integration service of Caritas Rheine and the support and advice team for immigrants from the city of Rheine organized a festival for women to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024. They were actively supported by dedicated women from the Centro S. Antonio’s International Language Café and the city’s cooking group Rheine.

From 2.30 p.m. to 7 p.m., around 120 women met at the Centro S. Antonio intercultural meeting center at Ludwigstraße 9 in Rheine to celebrate together. After a brief welcome from the organizers and a short introduction to International Women’s Day, the guests were invited on a journey around the world. At eight stands, women from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Morocco, Russia, Kazakhstan and Germany offered a colorful variety of local cuisine and provided information about the significance of International Women’s Day in their country of origin. “On International Women’s Day, it is important to me that women never lose the courage to raise their voices and stand up for their rights and dreams. That is why I am glad that it is possible to honor this day with such a celebration in Rheine,” Anna Sievert from the city of Rheine stated in her introduction.

While International Women’s Day is very important in some countries such as Ukraine and Russia, it hardly plays a role in other countries. In Sri Lanka, on the other hand, three goddesses are celebrated on nine nights of the year, representing strength, education and prosperity. In Syria, Women’s Day is celebrated on March 21 as Mother’s Day. After this short trip around the world, the individual women’s groups performed traditional dances and then the women from Sri Lanka offered all the guests the chance to join in with a Bollywood dance step. This opened up the dance floor for everyone and there was a lot of dancing and laughter. Anyone who wanted to could take souvenir photos of this lovely afternoon in good company in an adjoining room. “What a lovely party, especially at this time of year, it’s so good to celebrate together with so many women from different countries in an atmospheric setting,” summed up one visitor to the International Women’s Festival at Centro S. Antonio.

Finally, the women created a tree from their fingerprints on a large canvas as a symbol of International Women’s Day. “I am delighted that so many different women once again accepted our invitation and contributed to the festival being so ‘colorful’ and taking place in such an appreciative, cheerful atmosphere. I would like to thank all the women who presented their country of origin and gave a valuable insight into the history of their country and the role model of women,” said Natalie Holthaus from Caritas Rheine.

Photos: ©Caritas Association Rheine.