NAIT students got a taste of culture last week as the campus was host to a cultural showcase sponsored by ATB Financial. The Global Village, organized by the International Student Centre, allowed students to experience a small selection of the various cultures represented on campus by international students and staff.
Over 11 different countries were represented as part of the cultural fair held just outside Shop@NAIT on March 24.
Other tables gave information about foreign currencies and languages or allowed students to place stickers on a map to show where they are from.
Students had the opportunity to learn to say hello in various languages at the language table, as well as the characteristics of different currencies used around the world.
“Global Village was significant in that it created space for students and staff to both share something about themselves – who they are, where they come from,” explained Megan Yu, community engagement officer with the International Student Centre. “It was a great way for them to learn something about their community on campus.”
There was also a literal taste of culture, as NAIT culinary students prepared different dishes for participants to enjoy. Of course, the first few taste testers had to go through the dishes blindfolded and guess what foods they were eating. Afterwards, other participants were able to enjoy the food without the visual restriction.
On the edible front, dishes were representative of Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian recipes, to name a few.
The afternoon wrapped up with a student talent show in the Shaw Theatre. Organized by international students, this was an opportunity for stu-dents to showcase their unique talents with a cultural flair. Examples of contemporary cultural dancing and singing were mainstays in this display of skill.
“We often stick to our group of friends and classmates,” said Yu, “so the Global Village offered a chance for students to meet new people and gain a greater understanding of the diversity that the NAIT community offers.”
NAIT Counselling Services and NAIT Chaplaincy Services were also present at the event to provide information on how students can find support on campus. Fitting for an event that focused on cultural diversity, a number of NAIT chaplains were in attendance, reflecting the different religious beliefs that are prominent on campus.
There is a possibility that the Global Village will become an annual event offered by the International Student Centre. The centre organizes many events for students to partici-pate in throughout the school year. These events help international students find support and get engaged on campus but is also an opportunity for all students to learn about different cultures and build friendships.
“Hopefully this event helped students to think about participating in intercultural experiences more often,” said Yu.
Nicolas Brown, Issues Editor