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Why us

Some may ask why an organisation dedicated to the welfare and development of the Chinese Community are interested in a project around the Centenary of Northern Ireland. For some this question may be loaded, they may not feel Northern Ireland or its Centenary should be marked. For others they may question why a community not present here when the state was formed should get involved.

Our answer to both is to ask them the question “why shouldn’t we ?”. We are as much a part of Northern Ireland and its future as anyone else and have a right even a duty to become engaged in these issues. We also feel that we have a positive, non-partisan contribution to make which can help give new insights, challenge existing myths and provide an honest, accurate, academically based approach to understanding Northern Ireland.

Finally we see the need for our own and other BME communities to engage in this conversation about our country and to do so from a basis of knowledge and neutrality. We also see heritage in a wider perspective and how it contributes positively to forming identity, building confidence and a sense of place which in turn has a range of socio-economic as well as health and well-being outcomes for our community.

The Project is a real opportunity to explore the role of heritage in developing stronger, healthier communities who understand and value their identity and are capable and confident to play ever greater roles in society. 

This project will help the Chinese community and other ethnic minorities better understand this country and its often confusing history, thereby feeling more a part of of life. 

It is an education and engagement project aimed at involving Black and Minority Ethnic (BEM) communities and organisations in Northern Ireland’s Centenary. 

It will raise awareness of history, help BME communities navigate the often confusing and contentious issues, offering an impartial, informed approach which will allow them to understand and better engage in community, social, political and other spheres. 

The ‘Know Norn Iron’ education programme will produce educational and informative resource packs, conferences with historians commentators to set the context and discuss the issues, resulting in multi-lingual publications, for use in schools and the community. 

A second phase explaining NI in the international context of ‘Partition’ as a solution. This will blend personal experiences, academic understanding and legacy issues with other Partitioned regions, and their communities. Then as a positive counterbalance we would consider how immigration has shaped Northern Ireland. 

Finally a showcase: ‘The I in NI’ giving BME, and others an opportunity to reflect on their experience of and attitude to NI, promoting the concept of a ‘fusion’ of cultures, languages and traditions, playing on the positive and peaceful interaction and acceptance of difference. With an online platform which will add the ‘I to NI’ and promote the programme. 

Latest project news

Catch up on all the latest project news and the wider events and activities being supported by the Shared History Fund to mark Northern Ireland’s Centenary.

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