On February 1 in Market Hall, the annual Celebration of Nations occurs once again, an annual event put on by International Student Services.
“The event was created to celebrate Brock’s international community. With more than 100 countries represented on campus, the annual event highlights Brock University’s multicultural diversity,” said Michael Morrison, Marketing and Communications Officer for Brock International.
The event showcases many of the different cultures that exist at Brock. The best part is that the experts on these cultures, students from these various countries, are the ones who run each table.
Students can volunteer to represent their country, and when they do they are given a budget to set up tables to showcase their country and culture. Participants are encouraged to have display boards with maps, interesting facts and general information about their countries. In addition, students can and often do serve traditional snacks or foods, wear traditional clothing, and showcase other significant items that represent their culture. Last year there were 60 different countries that were represented.
As the event is mostly unstructured, students will be able to walk around Market and learn about different cultures at their leisure. They can learn new facts about different countries and cultures, try new foods, and perhaps even learn a few phrases in a new language. Even just exploring all the flags that will be hanging around Market hall can be an eye opening experience.
Although International Student Services runs the event, and the majority of participants are international students, the event welcomes everyone and anyone, especially domestic students who want to learn more about other cultures.
“The event provides the Brock community with an opportunity to deepen its understanding of the world outside Canada, and provides a chance to learn more about cultural traditions and values without leaving campus,” explained Morrison.
In addition to the normal proceedings of the day, International Student Services is expanding its horizons and having the event live streamed on Facebook with the help of Brock TV. The event will also be featured on Brock University’s Snapchat.
Many students have taken a great interest in participating in the event. Santiago Negret Rey, an International student from Columbia is participating, “Because [he] felt it was an interesting and exciting opportunity to not only let others know about [his] home country, but also to get to know other students from [his] same country.”
Another participant, Shanen D’Souza of India explains why she decided to represent her country. “I was very interested when I heard about the Celebration of Nations event at Brock. It made me happy that the university fosters cultural and international connectivity and provides a platform where students can learn about the culture, food, clothing, etc of their international classmates. I wanted to be a part of such an event and share my Indian culture and heritage with my fellow Badgers!”
D’Souza, with the help of other students from India, plans on showcasing her country by talking about the different languages, cultural and social norms in India and by sharing Indian food with those who attend. She will also be wearing an Indian cultural dress.
For those of you interested in attending the Celebration of Nations will be held this Thursday, Feb. 1 in Market Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m