Hundreds entranced by cultural festival

The Celebration of Nations was a wonderful opportunity to share his culture, said Navpreet Singh. The master of engineering student was part of a group which performed a traditional Punjabi dance marking the harvest.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our folk dance,” he said following the performance Thursday in the CAW Student Centre. “We are showing our culture to the whole world.”

Hundreds of students, staff and faculty crowded in the centre’s Commons area, taking in displays of information and artifacts, musical and dance performances, and free samples of ethnic foods from Mexican spicy grasshoppers, chapulines, to Palestinian hummous to the Colombian griddle cakes, arepas.

International student advisor Enrique Chacon said the event was “an amazing success.”

“What I liked about this year’s event was that I really saw the students discover each other—the Nigerians were watching the Chinese performances, the Brazilians were watching the Indians, and everyone was fascinated to see the Irish dancers,” he said. “The festival ends up being very Canadian—that diversity could happen only here in Canada.”

Certainly Lauren Hayward, a third-year student of history and English literature, enjoyed the experience. She was already familiar with the local Carrousel of Nations, but stumbled on the campus celebration by accident.

“I think it’s a great idea, our university is so multicultural,” she said. Hayward also planned to partake in some of the various culinary offerings: “I’m a big foodie.”

Kaye Johnson, director of the office of human rights, equity and accessibility, called this year’s “the best Celebration of Nations so far.”

She commended the organizing committee for its work.

“It paid off in the really terrific results,” Johnson said. “The whole atmosphere was just fantastic.”

View more photographs from the event in a Facebook photo album.