Cultures meet at UNBC
There was an alcove with cushions on the floor to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. There was a booth where your name could be spelled in a number of languages including Chinese and Arabic. There was uplifting music and traditional dancing, colourful displays and artifacts from different countries.
UNBC’s Multicultural Day drew people of different languages, backgrounds and ethnicity together on Wednesday as they chatted, drank chai and tried on clothes from other cultures. That kind of cross-cultural communication was the main idea behind their annual event, says Lisa Scheck.
Student Life co-ordinator and key event organizer, Scheck said the event is a way of recognizing and celebrating the diverse cultures represented by UNBC students – Chinese, Japanese, First Nations, Latin American, Saudi. Students brought something of their own culture to share with others, she said.
“We wanted to involve the whole UNBC community. For us, this is a day of cultural diversity where we celebrate the different cultures that we have in the student body here at UNBC.”
One of the best ways to learn about each other’s culture, she said, was to have students from different cultures share tasks for the day.
“My thought was to have the students working together on activities at different booths rather than just having their own booth. That got them talking and working together. We had three main activity areas set up: arts and crafts, writing table, and a cultural cafe.”
The Saudi Arabian Students Association shared their culture with visitors who could choose to try on traditional garb – they explained to the reporter the difference between a thob (ankle length garment) and abaya (headwear).
They served Arabic coffee and performed an exciting and colourful traditional group dance. Eileen Barrientos gave the audience a thrilling flamenco dance followed by sevillanas performed with her dance student, Karla Carr.
Sunita Pun and Mina Bhandari performed a beautiful Nepali folk dance.
The Multicultural Day is made possible by several partners including Student Life, English Language Studies, First Nations Centre and International Students. The entertainment is provided mostly by students from UNBC.