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Celebrating diversity through fashion

Sonia Sadiq Gandhi is the force behind Fashions of Multicultural Australia (FOMA), a national initiative supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The event’s aim is to foster social cohesion and strengthen bilateral trade between participating nations through fashion and cultural diplomacy.
A free daytime exhibition and runway being held in Sydney will showcase 30 different cultures that make up Australia. People will also be able to wear traditional clothing and taste food from all around the world.Ms Sadiq Gandhi said it’s an immersive experience. “I mean imagine learning how to wear a sari, a 5.5 metre material, or going to the Korean stall and learning how to wear a hanbok,” Ms Gandhi said. It allows people to engage directly with local and emerging designers and Foreign Embassies, including South Korea, Russia and India – to name a few.Katya Komarova is a Russian fashion designer living in Australia, and is one of 15 designers taking part in the fashion parade on Friday. She was invited by the Embassy of Russian Federation to represent her home country on the runway.
“To actually show a wider audience what we’re actually doing here as immigrants and new people of the fashion community is just great,” Ms Komarova said. “I feel very supported as an immigrant.” Her pieces are a contemporary take on her Russian heritage.Russian fashion designer Katya KomarovaSBS Fashion designer Anjilla Seddeqi representing Afghanistan at the FOMA exhibit and on the runway.She specialises in the design of bespoke pieces. “It represents the culture and the traditions.
Usually worn during celebratory times in Afghanistan, during a wedding, during Eid celebration and times like that.Ms Seddeqi moved to Australia when she was seven years old and has since embraced her identity as an Afghan Australia – especially through fashion.
SBSIt’s nice to have that representation so girls who look like me can see this and say look this is what I can achieve if I set my mind to it.Academic and feminist Susan Carland is a supporter of the designer’s self-titled label.”She received a lot of positive feedback so that’s nice to see as well.” FOMA founder Sonia Sadiq Gandhi said diversity doesn’t stop at the design level.”Our models are walking talking diversity too.”We have models that are over age 50 on the runway show, we have a Paralympic winner who is walking with a prosthetic leg, and that is the sort of stereotype that we want to break.“Breaking down the stereotype of what you wear is where you come from, which makes the exhibition and show such an important opportunity to reflect on the fashions of the world and help develop a public appreciation for different cultures.”

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Wada non-compliance may hit Olympic joint bid

SEOUL • The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said North Korea’s testing programme has failed to comply with its code, threatening to derail a joint Korean bid for the 2032 summer Olympics.
Wada gave Pyongyang four months to address doping concerns raised in a review in September, but the agency announced late on Wednesday that the deadline to correct “non-conformities” had passed without reply from the reclusive regime.”The World Anti-Doping Agency announces that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Anti-Doping Committee is, effective today, non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code,” the Montreal-based agency said, using North Korea’s official name.The concerns related to the implementation of its testing programme, it added.Wada’s decision casts a shadow on Seoul’s ambitious bid to jointly host the 2032 Olympics with a North Korean city, likely its capital Pyongyang.Any country submitting a bid is required to be in compliance with Wada’s code.
North Korean athletes could also be excluded from competing in the Olympics or other international competitions, under Wada rules requiring them to conform with the code “as a condition of such participation”.However, at a meeting in Lausanne between South and North officials yesterday, the two nations also expressed their interest for a joint march at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, as well as fielding some unified teams in different sports.South and North Korea were buoyed by the role the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics played in easing tensions – they had marched together at the opening ceremony for the first time since the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.In recent months, the two Koreas have also turned to sports diplomacy to ease tensions.
In Pyeongchang last year, North Korea sent leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, to express the regime’s interest in an inter-Korean summit.That paved the way for a whirl of diplomacy, including three inter-Korean summits in six months and a landmark June 12 Singapore meeting between United States President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader.

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