Participating in Global Fest 2013
Global Fest is an annual event organized by our wonderful students and staff at International Programs and Services and showcases the cultural diversity at UBC’s Okanagan campus. This year, Global Fest took place on Thursday Nov 14, which, by wonderful coincidence, was International Students’ Day. Therefore, this year’s Global Fest was a celebration of the International Student Community at UBC Okanagan and around the world.
During the afternoon, students presented displays of their countries, wore traditional garments, shared food, music, and stories.
Among the students showcasing their countries were International Scholars Mirabelle Arodi and Alviss Luu. I asked these two students why they participated in Global Fest, what they hoped to achieve, and how their experience turned out to be. Here are their thoughtful responses:
Home: Nairobi, Kenya
Program: BSc Biochemistry
“Initially I wasn’t going to participate as there are many other Kenyan students on campus who usually participate. When a fellow Kenyan student approached me and asked if I could take the lead, I accepted because I saw this as an opportunity to showcase a different side of Kenya than what is usually portrayed. I still wanted to show the beauty of Kenya, but move away from the stereotypical beaches and wildlife and show the not-very-often-seen images of Kenya that are just as beautiful. What I hoped to achieve was to give people a new perspective on Kenya; give them something they were not expecting.
I think it was successful because many people were intrigued by the pictures I chose and there were many questions about what they each represented or where they were exactly in Kenya. I even had one person in near disbelief that Nairobi was such a developed city. Allowing people to caption their thoughts on a picture made them think of Kenya in a different, unconventional way. The experience was rewarding: I enjoyed telling people about Kenya just as much as they enjoyed learning about it.”
Program: Bachelor of Management
“I chose to participate because it’s an opportunity to showcase my culture to the students at UBC’s Okanagan campus. I hope to show people a true image of my country now, not a saturated image from the media. My experience was wonderful as many students came and asked questions, shared what they know about Vietnam from their history lesson, and complimented me on the food.”
Global Fest was made successful by the creativity, pride and joy of our student leaders. It is an opportunity to break stereotypes, provide new insight, and create a greater appreciation of multiculturalism here at UBC’s Okanagan campus.