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Flag bearers pose outside Welcome CentreProud participants bear flags of many lands in the Celebration of Nations parade.

International students eager to share stories of home

The University of Windsor boasts great diversity on campus, with about 3,500 international students from almost 90 countries — students who have travelled thousands of kilometres to come here and experience Canadian culture and lifestyle.

The Celebrations of Nations cultural festival, March 15 in the CAW Student Centre, will bring the UWindsor community together for an exchange of heritage.

To jump-start the process, DailyNews asked some international students what they wanted to share about their home country with Canada.

India

“I want to share with Canadians about the strength of faith which people have in my country, as huge number of religious places are situated in my country. Moreover, I also want to share about the colourful festival and the way of celebration as it is very unique and interesting.”

“We have different religious diversity, festivals, rituals, food, devotional, ancient monuments, art and culture, historic places, foundation of Hindu philosophy, mythology, literature and theology, beliefs and practices like dharma, moksha, karma and yoga, Indian architecture, different clothing, etc.”

“India is the largest vegetarian-friendly country in the world. It is natural for Indians to sit on the floor and eat food, people in India do that regularly as they are used to it. Eating with washed hands, without cutlery, is a traditional Indian practice.”

Pakistan

“People think that Pakistan is an extremist country, but we are the most lovable people you will ever come across.”

“I belong to Pathan ethnicity — one major ethnic group of Pakistan. We have our own culture and are known for our hospitality, and the region is known for its beauty all over Pakistan.”

Iran

“Iran has a historical culture and lots of interesting cities.”

“Even though Iran is portrayed negatively due to its authoritarian Islamic regime, this regime is only a small insignificant part of our history … the majority of Iranians oppose the clerics’ brutal ruling and their archaic laws and practices.”

South Korea

“I love cooking different countries’ food, so I would like to share different Korean food experience at different places, like street markets or classic Korean restaurants for various kinds of food that they might not have heard of.”

Philippines

“Philippines has many perfect beaches and turquoise waterfalls. It has the number-one island in the world — Palawan — and 2,000-year-old rice terraces.”

Bangladesh

“My country, Bangladesh, is a fast-developing country with its GDP growth around 6.5 per cent. We are a small country in terms of land area but we have been facing the problems related with over-population since independence. However, despite our own challenges of dealing with so many people and limited resources, we have given shelter to around 1 million Rohingya refugees in our country, who escaped mass murder and violence from their own country.”

Sweden

“We have the same amount of snow as Canada, more coffee and a dry sense of humour.”

“Sweden is more than just IKEA and ABBA. The countryside offers a peaceful environment with meadows, forests and classic red wooden houses with white trims and is a must to visit when in Sweden. And don’t miss out on a traditional Swedish fika!”

Nigeria

“Nigeria is the country with the highest population in Africa. We are an English-speaking country because English is our official language. We are very hospitable and we believe in academic success. Hard work is our watch word.”

“Every country has her own challenges. So does Nigeria, but the best thing is that I am proud to be a Nigerian.”


Ida Karlsson