Cultural Day Exposes Students to Rich Campus Diversity
In a bid to foster a multicultural environment and showcase the different countries from which UKZN’s international students are drawn, the Corporate Relations’ International Office recently hosted an annual Cultural Day at three UKZN campuses.
About 20 exhibition stalls, each representing a different country, showcased photographs and information about that country’s food, traditional attire and unique qualities. Participants also had an opportunity to taste the food and drinks on display, make friends, take pictures and share contact details.
UKZN is currently home to more than 2 000 international students, 250 postdoctoral research fellows, and 500 international academics from over 90 countries undertaking studies, research and teaching in a range of disciplines within Schools and Colleges.
Countries from which international students come from include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, Spain, Swaziland, Germany, the United States of America, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Angola, Kenya, Mauritius, Belgium and France.
With the theme, “Inspiring the healing of our planet together”, the South African exhibition stall was shared with UKZN Greenpeace student activists.
UKZN’s international partnerships provide an opportunity for direct interface and global academic exchange that enhances scholarship and the student experience.
Entertainment included an introductory march and singing by the South African Military Band, a number of dance, poetry and praise-singing performances, music by the UKZN Choir, lucky draws and a parade of traditional outfits by staff and students.
In her welcome, Ms Tasmeera Singh of the International Office urged the students to take advantage of the day and learn about the different countries displayed.
Food providers on campus handed food vouchers to students while the Information and Communications Services Division handed over five computers to disadvantaged students. Both these initiatives were courtesy of Programme Director Mr Selvan "Tintin" Pillay. The programme ended with cross-cultural dancing and singing.
- Sithembile Shabangu