University of Windsor Hosts 15th Annual Celebration of Nations
The University of Windsor aims to highlight the different cultures of our campus community with an annual celebration of nations.
It is a festival put together by the student body and various departments across campus. The event features performances from around the world, and approximately 15-20 booths, all put on by the students. Approximately 23 percent of The University of Windsor’s student body comes from nearly 100 different countries. The festival provides students the opportunity to learn about these different cultures by interacting with their own friends and classmates.
Diane Luuhang, a co-chair of the event’s organizing committee, says “There’s so many different cultures, dishes, and traditions that make us so much richer at the university.”
“More events like this help raise awareness about other cultures, as well as inspire us to get more involved in, and educate ourselves about our own cultures.”
Luuhang says these events will help the university continue to do better.
The Executive Director of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility at the University of Windsor, Kaye Johnson thinks people thrive off of diversity.
“That’s one of the things this brings out, the joy that’s in humanity.”
To her, similar to Luuhang, the key importance is bringing people together. “The impact this has is that we learn from each other about each other.”
Another important figure at the event, DJ White, one of the Indigenous performers, shares a similar sentiment, as do many others. He finds it’s the “welcoming atmosphere” that leads to “worldwide discussion and understanding one another.” He says the next step is to network and build more connections in the various cultural communities in and
around Windsor, and to host more of these types of events throughout the year.
Shelair, a student at the Kurdistan booth, explains why events like these are so important to her. “It’s very multicultural. We get to be more diverse and learn about other people’s cultures, as well as sharing our own.”
Yinqi Zhang at the China booth says it’s important to educate other students about cultures outside of their own.
“It’s important to let the students communicate with other countries. To see people you don’t always see in your class.”
‘Fusions of India’ performer Seeret Banwait says, “People might not know that there’s a big difference between northern and southern India.” She and her student performance group are using the event to showcase dance forms from all around India, spotlighting the different styles.
Finally, the student representatives at BIDE (Belonging, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity) say that to help the University of Windsor continue to grow, learn, and get better, they’ll be continuing what they’ve started and that they would like to “bring more things to campus like this.” Mia Diciocco, a member of BIDE’s Belonging Student Support and the VP of student life for the UWSA emphasizes the importance of “Not only remembering that so many students have the opportunity to speak, but also giving them space to do so.”
The BIDE organization is a student-led initiative, part of the university’s Office of Student Experience, that aims to create a safe and open platform for the underrepresented, and marginalized groups on the University of Windsor’s campus. By introducing programs and initiatives that allow students to share what they know, the BIDE institution fosters brave spaces to make sure all students at The University of Windsor feel welcome and included.