Fusing food and fun to spread awareness
By Brandy Bond, Staff Writer
One of LUSU’s centres, the Multicultural Centre, constantly strives to promote diversity and inclusivity within the Lakehead community. The centre provides support and information through a variety of forms, but one of the most well received ways in which they promote inclusivity and diversity is through the many events they hold throughout the year.
On Tuesday February 6th, the Multicultural Centre held their annual Cultural Day event in the agora of the Thunder Bay Campus. This event typically includes many different booths, which are set up by student volunteers, and represent different countries and cultures from around the world. As the overwhelming fragrance of diverse cuisines and music wafted from every corner, the smells, sounds, and vast crowds of people successfully drew in hundreds of students throughout the day. However, the event’s success can be largely attributed to the energetic and lively students who managed the tables and booths.
The booths and tables were run by student volunteers who were thrilled to share the cuisines of their culture and the places that many of them call home. However, it was perhaps due to their contagious energy that the students were able to truly succeed in bringing different people together to celebrate diversity. At a table representing Indigenous heritage, April Hid believes that events such as these are vital to Lakehead as “sharing cultures is important and it’s a part of learning.” Hid continued on the note importance of showing people that “we do have our authentic foods and we do have our language.” This statement seems to be synonymous with the mission of the other cultures represented at the fair and was demonstrated by everyone’s enthusiasm to share information, food and languages from their homelands.
Some of the other cultures featured at this year’s event included those from the countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan, Germany, Scotland, China, India, and many more. In addition to the delicious food, many of the tables had extra activities to encourage the participation of students and faculty. The individuals who organized the table representing Saudi Arabia also brought traditional garments for students to wear in their photo booth, and table representing China, had small cards and envelopes where event attendees could learn to write their name in Mandarin. The event was also covered by a local TV news outlet, spreading the goal of cultural awareness across to the entire city. Students who have attended this event in the past knew to be there early, as the food is generally gone in the first 2 hours – and this year’s event was no exception. Although the food may have been gone earlier in the day, the music, dancing, and learning opportunities lasted throughout the entire day.
To any individuals who are interested in events such as this one, the Multi Cultural Centre holds many other enjoyable events throughout the school year, including workshops, concerts, and cultural dinners. These events allow LUSU’s Multi Cultural Centre to help bring awareness, advocacy, and action to various humanitarian and social justice causes pertaining to cultural identity, international development concerns, and racism. There are many opportunities to become involved with the Multi Cultural Center. If you are interested in getting involved with the MCC, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org as or visit their on-campus center where you can access an abundance of volunteer opportunities, support, and referral services.