Global Village event highlights the importance of culture at the U of S

By in News

On March 14, the International Student and Study Abroad Centre sponsored another successful Global Village event, bringing together diverse cultural groups at the University of Saskatchewan and in the wider Saskatoon community. The event hosted 23 tables, each one representing a different country around the world and bringing its culture to life.

Global Village - Jeremy Britz
In the STM cafeteria, 23 diverse groups met for Global Village to share their culture.

The event this year was organized by the Global Connections Network, which encompasses all of the cultural student groups on campus, and took place in the St. Thomas More College cafeteria. Groups made food, organized cultural activities for students and created a setting that helped students feel what it was like to live in a different country. Many groups also performed songs on stage in their native languages and allowed students to ask many questions about the culture they were representing.

Eliza Acode, a second-year crop science student and one of the head co-ordinators for the event, speaks about the importance of having this event at the university.

“If you participate in something like Global Village that focuses on connecting people and celebrating cultures, you’re reconnecting people to the land of Saskatchewan and creating a communitywithin the actions of reconciliation,” Acode said.

Bringing cultures together and creating a sense of community was very important to the many student groups represented at Global Village. These groups enjoyed sharing their culture with fellow students and making new friends throughout the night. This event  attracted not only students but also families and community members, as it was a family friendly evening.

Nykole King, a fourth-year international studies student, explains why ISSAC decided to hold Global Village at STM this year.

“Last year, we had Global Village in the ISSAC, and while it was a great time, it was also very packed. So, to accommodate for the large crowd, STM thankfully stepped up and let us use their cafeteria and auditorium. It was still quite busy. However, we were really happy with the turnout and the amount of booths and performers we were able to have,” King said, in online correspondence with the Sheaf.

She explains that the event this year featured special passports that students could have stamped at each booth and then enter into a draw for prizes. During the event, the Sheaf was lucky enough to speak to a number of students about their booths and experiences at Global Village.

Daniela Ribeiro de Souza,  a second-year master’s student in food science, talks about the overall goal of the Brazilian Association of Saskatoon, one of the 23 groups present at the event.

“Our goal is to share information about our culture, because people do not know … our culture and our language. Students should join the association to learn about other cultures and to integrate other cultures into [their] own life,” Ribeiro de Souza said.

Some tables used holidays and festivals important to their culture to represent what they value as a group. Edgar Martinez Soberanes,  a first-year PhD student in mechanical engineering, explained that the Day of the Dead is important for people within the Mexican community, another group present at the event.

“We have a traditional festivity known as the Day of the Dead, which is similar to Halloween, but the difference is [that] we take the day to value the people who are dead because they are our relatives and our friends. So, what we do is offer food and put out things they liked and invite them into our house,” Martinez Soberanes said.

The GCN plans to organize Global Village on an annual basis for as long as possible, and they encourage students who want to learn about the diverse cultures on campus to visit ISSAC and get involved with the event in the future.

Many student groups, such as the Undergraduate Chinese Culture Club, come back to Global Village every year, not only because it attracts a large crowds but also because it is so enjoyable, as Shaun Qiang, a second-year arts and science student, explains.

“[The UCCC is] closely connected with ISSAC, and we came back because we enjoy what the event has to offer to the students,” Qiang said.

Lindsay Rose

Photo: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor