The Corporate Relations Division (CRD) hosted its annual Cultural Day on the Howard College campus to help foster a multicultural environment and encourage diversity among students.
The event formed part of CRD’s responsibility to look after UKZN’s more than 2 000 international undergraduate and postgraduate students; and cultural days represent an excellent opportunity to enhance their overall experience.
Representatives from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, Germany, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Brazil, Sudan, Portugal, Angola, South Africa, Zambia and France participated in the day’s festivities.
In her welcome address, CRD’s Acting Executive Director, Ms Normah Zondo, said the event aimed to deepen the University community’s understanding of other people’s cultures and learn from them.
Exhibition stalls – each representing a different country – showcased photographs and information about that specific country’s food, traditional attire and unique qualities. Participants also tasted the food and drinks on display, mingled with other students, took pictures and shared contact details.
Political Science student, Ms Laura Zister of Germany, said she was excited to see the different traditional dances; experience the South African culture; learning the values of Ubuntu and seeing how Africans are proud of their culture.
BCom Accounting student from Portugal, Mr Adilson Sibingo, said he saw a lot of similarities in the food between the different countries; which went to show how everyone has a love for food.
Music, drama performances, poetry and dancing by representatives of different countries entrained the crowd. As the day coincided with Zambia’s Independence Day, Zambian students led the crowd in singing the country’s national anthem. Other performances included a Hare Krishna group who performed a musical item.
Student Governance Officer, Ms Zanele Hlophe, thanked CRD for giving students the platform to share their cultures, saying she hoped that they learned something new from others.
Words: Sithembile Shabangu