It's Poles together at free event for community
POLISH culture and history was celebrated at the Colston Hall last night.
The second annual free event called Poles Aloud saw hundreds of people enjoying eight hours of music, singing, artistry and food.
Organiser Magda Bond, who hosts Polish radio show Radiowski on local station BCFM, said: "This event is very important because it shows the issue of immigration from a positive side. It's a fantastic opportunity for Polish and non-Polish people of all ages to come together in a cultural celebration."
There are an estimated 30,000 people of Polish origin living in Bristol.
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Also singing in several of the performances were the Polish Scouts.
Based at the Polish Church on Cheltenham Road, they have been in the city since 1948 and now boast more then 100 boys and girls.
One of those who runs the group, Christina Malkowska Zaba said: "Events like this are really important because if the young people do not know about the history and do not understand the connections between everybody, we cannot have a community in Bristol."
Singer Katy Carr performed with her band The Aviators as she brought her Paszport Tour to Bristol and led an evening concert that fused traditional and original songs. While the music filled the air, military images of the past were projected onto a screen.
The day's events were particularly poignant because it was 73 years to the day that the first of an estimated 1.8 million Poles were taken by the Soviets to Siberian death camps. Last night, some of those who attended the performances were veterans who had survived that ordeal.
"I'm very proud to be performing in front of them today," said Katy, whose mother is Polish.
Much of the event was broadcast live on BCFM, which organised the event with the Polish Society from the University of Bristol, and the Colston Hall.