Festeggiamenti all’interfaccia di Lenadoon. Prevista massiccia partecipazione di persone di tutte le comunità

Il matrimonio del Principe William e Kate Middlenton non sarà solo il matrimonio del secolo, non sarà solo l’evento mediatico per eccellenza, non sarà solo il tentativo di risollevare le sorti della monarchia, ma secondo Joe Hamill – Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group – a West Belfast sarà l’occasione per “dimostrare ai vicini protestanti che siamo disposti ad abbracciare la loro cultura e ciò che è veramente importante per loro”.
Un messaggio positivo insomma. “Cattolici, nazionalisti e repubblicani disposti ad abbracciare ciò che viene visto come tradizionalmente protestante o unionista o lealista, che così facendo non significa in alcun modo indebolire o ‘diluire’ la propria cultura”.
Dal lato opposto della medaglia, Ewan Suttie – Suffolck Forum – ha dichiarato che quanto accadrà oggi sarà un ulteriore esempio della volontà della popolazione di andare avanti insieme.
“Fondamentalmente stiamo abbattendo dei miti, dimostrando che tutto questo non è il male, e che ciò che le persone sono state portate a credere quando erano giovani, forse non era vero al 100%”.

West Belfast ready for royal wedding (UTV)
Loyalist and republican community workers are organising a very special event in the heart of west Belfast, to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
The venue, at an interface once dogged by sectarian violence, will be packed on Friday by people from all sides of the community – united by the Royal Wedding.
“It’s certainly a first for Lenadoon, in terms of buying into celebrating something like the Royal Wedding,” Joe Hamill, from the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group, told UTV.
“It’s not so much about coming down and therefore showing some loyalty or support for the Royal family or the Royal Wedding – it’s not about that from a Lenadoon perspective.
“For many of the people we’ll be hoping to get involved from Lenadoon, it’s about showing to their Protestant neighbours that they’re willing to embrace their culture and what’s important to them.”
On the opposite side of the coin, Ewan Suttie from Suffolk Community Forum told UTV it was just another example of local people moving forward together.
“This wedding tomorrow is just one of lots of ground-breaking things we’ve done up here – we’ve done things that people have only talked about, that people have had on their wish-lists.
“We’ve had young people in sailing boats from both communities, both communities playing football side by side, learning about their different cultures side by side.”
He added: “Basically, we’re about myth-busting – we’re breaking down the myths, showing that everything isn’t bad and that what people have been led to believe when they were young possibly wasn’t 100% right.”
It is a sign of how far the area has come and Joe Hamill hopes it will send out a positive message that “Catholics, nationalists and republicans are willing to embrace what they see as traditionally Protestant or unionist or loyalist – and that in doing so, it doesn’t in any way weaken or dilute their own culture”.
Meanwhile, Ewan Suttie says it is equally positive that such efforts to reach out are welcomed by those offered the hand of friendship.
“I think it’s very ground-breaking as well that a small, isolated loyalist community like Suffolk were willing to embrace Lenadoon and nationalists – and let them see their culture,” he said.
Many other events have also been organised across Northern Ireland, as the world’s media camps out in London to capture every moment of the lead up to the big day itself.
UTV’s Sarah Clarke, who is in London, said: “Final preparations are almost complete and a sense of anticipation is really palpable.
“Thousands of onlookers are here, but also thousands of media – an estimated 8,000 journalists are covering the event, camped out in what’s been dubbed ‘Media City’.”
On Thursday afternoon, Kate Middleton waved to onlookers as she arrived at her hotel, while Prince William later took a surprise walkabout near Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds.


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