Cultural Day: A celebration of connection

Posted on 12/06/2017 · Posted in Dialogos, Our languages, Recent news

On 18 May, international students participating in the Language Centre’s Intensive English Programme (IEP) celebrated Cultural Day in a unique and exciting way at the Khaya (Kruiskerk).

The United Nations has declared 21 May of each year World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This is a day aimed at providing us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the value of cultural diversity and to learn how to live together in harmony. IEP students embraced the opportunity to embody this day at the University, where students from eight countries explored the broader concepts of their beliefs, values and culture. On display were numerous stalls portraying the culture of the various ethnic groups, highlighting their customs, traditions and food. In addition, each group presented how they identified with their culture.

This year, the Grade 10 Rhenish Girls’ High School students attended the event. The girls were extremely enthusiastic and seemed to thoroughly enjoy interacting with the IEP students. We received a lot of positive feedback about the event – here are some of their comments:

“Cultural Day was an amazing way to learn about different countries, cultures, and traditions and to eat the local food (which was our favourite part!) It was an eye-opening experience and we were so lucky to have attended such a brilliant event.” (Caleigh Plaatjes)

“The Grade Tens extremely enjoyed tasting the food from different countries such as Acorn Jelly from South Korea, Chinese noodles and Swiss cheese fondue… We had a fantastic time, excelling in quizzes, dances and general knowledge.” (Micaela Budge)

Our Cultural Day event was a product of many hours invested by both students and mentor teachers, achieved through meticulous planning, rehearsals and cross-cultural teamwork. As a result, the outcome was truly remarkable, with prizes being awarded to the top three groups based on specific criteria. The presentations were a wonderful opportunity for the students to share with the audience their understanding of culture – and indeed, themselves – and in doing so further enhance their English language skills.