Let a thousand Elsas bloom, in every colour
FOSAI takes stand on racist abuse against 3-year-old Aboriginal-Indian girl; Calls for ‘multicultural’ princess parade on 16 August
Melbourne-based Festivals of South Asia Inc (FOSAI) is determined to celebrate freedom of another kind – from racism. FOSAI has decided to take up the cause of three-year-old Samara Muir – of Aboriginal and Indian descent – who was the target of a racist abuse a day ago by calling for an Elsa Parade on 16 August at the Werribee Race Course.
Samara, who had dressed up as Queen Elsa from the Disney animated feature film Frozen was attending an event at the Water Gardens Shopping Centre when the incident happened. Samara was lining up to enter the snow pit with her mum Rachel Muir when the incident happened. “The lady in front of us turned around to Samara and said ‘I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black and “black is ugly”, Muir told a local newspaper.
In a show of solidarity with Samara, FOSAI has announced an “Elsa parade”, inviting little girls of every colour, race and community to dress up in Elsa costumes and participate. The parade will be led by Samara.
“The only response we can give racial vilification is to embrace our identity and be proud of our culture and heritage. We at FOSAI want to invite all the little girls out there to come and participate in our upcoming festival at the Werribee Race Course on 16 August,” said Hari Yellina, founder of FOSAI.
“We have invited Samara to attend this festival and she is excited to lead the way. We will make arrangements for an Elsa parade or a massive snow pit and Samara will lead the way. So one and all, black or white, brown, pink or purple, come in your Elsa outfit and let’s celebrate multiculturalism. Let a thousand Elsas bloom, in every colour,” added Yellina.
“I cannot believe it. We are in Melbourne, one of the most multicultural places in the world,” said Rachel. Samara and her family, incidentally, are off to India to visit her father’s relatives in his home country.
Reacting to the racist abuse, former Ministerial Adviser Nitin Gupta said that it was “sad” that native Australians and people from multicultural backgrounds had to face racism. “Everyone needs to do their bit in changing this. A good start would be increasing the diversity on the mainstream television channels, on the fashion covers. We need more diversity in the fashion Industry and entertainment world,” he said.
Rashi Kapoor, a contestant of Miss World Australia 2015, said it was appalling to hear about such racist vilification happening in multicultural Melbourne. “There needs to be more education and awareness. I would happily volunteer in any campaign or event that can raise awareness on this social issue. The native Australians, and people from ethnic backgrounds or the ‘New Australians’, deserve to raise their families with dignity. There should not be any room for racism of any kind,” she said.