As NAIT continues to welcome more international students and faculty, the chance to express these cultures on campus is becoming even more important.
On Wednesday, March 28, NAIT’s International Centre will host its third annual Global Village Fair. The event will be running from 11:30-4:30 at CAT, main floor.
The fair was created in 2016 in the hopes of sparking conversation and education amongst all cultures and communities within the polytechnic.
“The objective of the event is to really increase intercultural awareness on campus by involving more community members … ,” said Freya Fu, NAIT’s International Engagement co-ordinator. “We are seeing [a] more and more diverse population here on campus and there’s not really a chance for us to celebrate it and bring awareness.”
Panharith In, a NAIT business student, represented his country last year performing a traditional Cambodian dance and says he’s participating again this year.
“I was very happy about showing NAIT my culture. I am very passionate about sharing my culture,” he said.
The 2018 event will feature international food tasting, workshops and sessions dealing with intercultural education and cultural performances. Each event-goer will receive a ‘passport’ which they can get stamped by representatives from the attending nations.
“We can share and exchange knowledge just right here [at NAIT] – we don’t need to travel,” said Fu. The idea is that the institute’s campus is diverse enough, that travelling outside of Canada is not needed to immerse yourself in a variety of unique cultures and perspectives.
“Basically, it’s like travelling all of the world in just one day,” said In.
The event will begin with a workshop hosted by NAIT staff, and will discuss multiculturalism, specifically at NAIT.
The food tasting will feature eight multicultural dishes prepared by NAIT catering. Food tickets are priced at three for a dollar this year – a change from last.
“Last year we had a bit of a crowd control issue, because free food makes it tough to control crowds, ” said Fu.
After the food tasting is complete, a ‘intercultural cafe’ will be held for participants to discuss what they know about multiculturalism and to ask questions about other cultures.
“Just come and talk to someone from a culture that you’ve never talked to … and share something you know. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask about other people’s culture,” said Fu.
The afternoon will wind up with student performances from countries from all over the globe.
In believes the event is not just beneficial for Canadianborn students to interact with international students but for fellow migrant students to bond over shared experiences in Canada and for these students to access their culture at NAIT.
“Being away from home, sometimes you miss the culture you’re used to … and when things [Global Village] happen, it’s a good opportunity to feel a connection to home.”
Tickets are being pre-sold at the International Centre in Room W-101 from March 19-27 and must be purchased with a ONEcard.
– Jory Proft