PAGE Park came alive with music, dance and culture from around the world as part of the Bristol Refugee Festival.

The Celebrate With Me event in late June was part of two weeks of events across the Bristol area, and was organised by Melody Beard of the Park’s Bean Tree Cafe, with South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network and dance and culture charity Movema.

It included performances from people from nations across the world who have now made Britain their home, including dance from Columbia and Tibet, food from China and music from Ukraine.

Hundreds of people came to the free five-hour event, to sit and watch, try food and visit stalls, and even join in with the dancing.

Melody said: “The event was a wonderful success and we were so happy to see the community connecting.

“It was a day filled with music, dance, and intercultural sharing. We can’t wait to bring it back again next year.” 

Among the performers was Kateryna Kalinova, her sister Liza and brother Matvii, who with mum Olena are now living in the UK after their home city of Pavlohrad, near Donetsk, was attacked by the Russians last year.

As well as performing traditional music, Kateryna brought pieces of shrapnel from a missile attack on her home city, which had been painted to turn them into miniature works of art.

Her brother wore a traditional Ukrainian shirt made by a soldier known as Skipper, who had been fighting since the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 but was killed last year.

Kateryna said people at the festival had been interested in their instruments and costumes, and very supportive of Ukraine’s fight for freedom.

She said: “Before the war people didn’t know about Ukraine so much, and thought it was part of Russia. Now they see Ukrainians are a different people.

“So many people here are telling us they are really sorry and hope the war will soon finish. Their support has been a motivation and made us want to fight even harder.”