International Days end with celebration of multiculturalism
Lakehead International Days closed on Friday with a colourful celebration of multiculturalism in the community. Students and staff filed to the Agora to watch the closing ceremonies of LU’s eleventh celebration of cultural diversity on campus.
The Agora was transformed into an “intersection of culture” for the parade, with a variety of international flags flying overhead. CILU Radio Manager Jason Wellwood was on hand to DJ the event, which featured dancing, drumming, singing and other performances representing a variety of cultures. The parade was the culmination of Lakehead’s largest and most elaborate International Days yet.
According to Tanka Awosika, main organizer of the event, this year represents the benchmark for Lakehead International Days.
The event was sponsored by Lakehead International and offered students and faculty a week packed full of various festivities honouring different cultures within the Lakehead University community. The celebration included a pancake breakfast, a danceathon, international films, and taste testing of international foods. Vendors also sold fair trade wares in the Agora with a portion of the proceeds going to support refugees.
The parade kicked off with a graceful Indian dancer followed by mixed performance of modern ballet and African dance. The Arabella Middle Eastern Dance Academy performed two sets, which included an elaborate performance with lit candles balancing on the dancers’ heads. Members of the Sierra Leonean Association sang a set of two songs written specifically for International Days, accompanied by a keyboardist and a bassist.
The parade then featured a showcase of various cultures performed by Lakehead staff and faculty as well as their children, and a concluding performance by the Arabella belly dancers.
The final parade featured adults and children in various traditional cultural attires forming an “intersection” in the middle of the Agora, as a demonstration of cultural peace and unity.