Yesterday's Extra; Butetown Parades Its Long Multiculturalism History

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), April 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Yesterday's Extra; Butetown Parades Its Long Multiculturalism History


NOWHERE does a parade like Butetown, as generations of revellers will testify.

Even today, when the carnival procession winds its way through the waterfront plazas, through a landscape barely recognisable from how it looked even 20 years ago, the sense of community and, more importantly, multi-ethnic togetherness and acceptance, shines through.

In April 1954, this was the scene in Bute Street as Cardiff, then the most important Moslem centre in Britain, became the venue for an impressive religious procession in which followers of the Prophet from many lands took part.

Banners flying and to the accompaniment of chanting from the Koran, the procession of members of the Zaoula Islamia Allauia Religious Society took place past edifices still recognisable along some stretches of this historic old street even today.

Taking part in it were children born and brought up in Cardiff, wearing the gorgeous raiments brought from the East by their fathers and topped by all manner of head-dress, from a turban to a tarboosh.

Those watching in awe from the side, like the young boy in his shorts and jacket on the extreme right of the picture, must have recognised children from their own school, walking proudly accompanied by their fathers and brothers. …

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