UTMSU’s first Multicultural Week was held last week, featuring a farmers’ market, international food, and a cultural show, among other events.
According to UTMSU VP campus life Francesco Otello-DeLuca, in past years multicultural events were for one or two days only. This time, UTMSU decided to expand it into a week in order to celebrate it with more students.
The week opened with the farmers’ and international markets, which took place in the Student Centre. The farmers’ market featured baked goods, maple and honey syrups, and veggies and fruits.
Clubs were also given a chance to showcase different cultures through art. The Middle Eastern Students’ Association had a table displaying decorations and the Sri Lanka Association had handcrafted souvenirs.
On Wednesday, various clubs tabled in the Presentation Room, giving out traditional food and snacks. Some of the clubs present were the Canadian Asian Student Society, the Hindu Student Council, the Polish Students’ Association, the Egyptian Student Association, and the Taiwan Republic of China Student Association.
Many students expressed their excitement to try food from different cultures. There was a large turnout and most of the food soon ran out.
Several dance classes were also held as part of the week. These were taught by members of the Caribbean Connection, Rhythm Club, and the South Asian Alliance, among other groups.
UTMSU also hosted its first cultural show, “Lights, Camera, Culture!”, on Thursday in IB. Several clubs and associations participated in performances of spoken word, poetry, music, and dance.
Also featured was the singing of Syrian cultural songs by the Sooriana Group and dances by the Hindu Students’ Council, the Erindale College African Students Association, and the Erindale Punjabi Association, which performed Bhangra.
The event also featured a special guest performance by JRDN.
Otello-DeLuca was pleased with the turnout of over 250 people.
“We got great feedback from the farmers’ market, the International Food Day was a great success, people had fun at the dance classes, and the cultural show had an amazing turnout,” he said.
To end the Multicultural Week, the Global Gala was held on Friday in the Blind Duck. In addition to an open dance floor, dinner, entertainment, games, and prizes were also offered.
“Hopefully this can go into something really big,” Otello-DeLuca said.
Regarding the future, he said that because this was the first time Multicultural Week was held, it was considered an experiment. He said if people liked the events, UTMSU would keep them up and expand them in response to student feedback.