The Manawatū multicultural community is getting ready for the Festival of Cultures on March 7.

They're inviting everyone to come for the Community National Costume Parade, and even if you just wear the quintessential Red Bands, you'll be welcome.

Manawatū Multicultural Council Ethnic centre manager Christine Mukubalinda who arrived here 18 years ago will wear her national costume, lgitenge.

"Everyone is welcome to join in. All ages - children, families, men and women."


Flavia Alves from Brazil has lived in Palmerston North for 16 years.

The former chef is now a taxi driver in the city, and will be wearing the national costume of Bahia.

No'orangi Puleosi from Mauke Cook Islands will wear a mumu and pare ēi headpiece.

Menaka Wanninayake from Sri Lanka will wear her hand-loomed silk Osarya which they wear for formal functions.

Hussein Kikhounga-N'got from the Republic of Congo is cloaked in an N'got or panther, but fabric is now the costume choice.

Christine said those who walk in the parade will meet 9am in Cuba St and walk around the Square where they will be part of the official opening of Festival of Cultures at 10am.

"The purpose of the parade is to celebrate all our community's cultures.

"This is an opportunity to show our diversity and let our people feel proud of who they are.

"So please gather your family, friends and wear your cultural or ancestral cultural costume if your family has been here for generations.


"You might wear your sari, or your t-shirt "I love Dublin". All are acceptable, we want to see you all there."

Christine would like to know if you will be walking in the parade. Email to book your spot, or phone the Manawatū Multicultural Council on 06 3581572.