x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ladies bridge the gap between Indian and Emirati communities

Indian and Emirati women help bridge the cultural gap between their two communities over a coffee.

ABU DHABI // Indian and Emirati women helped bridge the cultural gap between their two communities over a coffee.

The Indian Ladies Association (ILA) recently organised its first coffee morning meeting with Emirati women from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA).

Safiya Darweesh Al Qubaisi, handicraft developing officer at the ADTCA, said there's been an Indian community living in the region for centuries and is now an established part of UAE society.

"Wherever we go we find Indians. We shared local handicrafts at the meeting and I found it very interesting to learn and showcase the UAE's culture with different sectors of the community," she said.

"It's not that we are not aware of Indian culture and traditions, as well as the handicrafts, but by engaging with the ladies of the Indian community we gain more knowledge.

"We aim to hold more and more meetings with these women in the future," Ms Al Qubaisi added.

Adeeja Al Qubaisi, another official from ADTCA, said: "This was the first event, next time we will hold bigger programmes engaging more women from both sides.

"These meetings will provide us with a better understanding about Indian culture and at the same time we will be able to disperse knowledge about our culture and handicrafts."

About 30 ladies from the ILA took part in the event with three officials from ADTCA. Honorary ILA president, Jonia Mathew, said, "It was a wonderful and wholesome experience for the members of ILA as they witnessed the intricacy of Emirati handicrafts.

"This was the first such event and we were initially worried. But after receiving a good response from the ADTCA and the interest shown by our members, next time we would go for bigger events involving more women from the Indian community."

anwar@thenational.ae