CUHK International Week Promotes Inter-cultural Exchange on CampusStudents Given a Platform to Encounter Different Cultures and Embrace Them
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) always strives to provide a multicultural ecology on campus and to facilitate inter-cultural integration. To allow students from different cultures learn from each other, and to broaden their international horizons, the Office of Student Affairs co-organized the International Week with some non-local student associations recently. With the theme of ‘Cultural Encounters’, the International Week rolled out a variety of activities, including a talk on round-the-world travel, Movie Screening Nights, Cultural Sharing Sessions and the International Concert.
Exploring the world and realizing dreams
The opening ceremony of the International Week was officiated by Prof. T. F. Fok, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, followed by a talk – ‘Post-80s’ Sharing on Travelling Around the World. Travelling around the world is a dream for many, but few can make it come true. A young couple – Natalie and Hiro, who left footprints on over 200 cities in 46 countries around the world in 18 months, was invited to share their travel experiences. The talk was spiced up with Natalie and Hiro’s stories full of excitement and happiness. For example, they were stranded in a car during their stay in flood-stricken Queensland, Australia. And both of them could still feel the joy and sweetness when Hiro proposed to Natalie at the summit of Mount Fuji. In addition to making many good new friends, the culture shock encountered and soul-searching during the journey prompted them to ponder on the meaning of life.
Promoting cultural integration on campus
After the International Week was kicked off, Movie Screening Nights followed. A Bite of China brought real food to the audience as they could have a bite of some of the dishes introduced in the documentary. Some mainland students also shared the cultural stories behind the dishes. After the Taiwanese movie Island Etude was played, a native student shared with the audience his adventure of cycling around Taiwan this summer.
The Cultural Sharing Session – ‘What does it mean to be black?’ conducted by the CUHK Black International Community (B.I.C) gave the participants a fuller picture of black peoples’ cultures. British-Nigerian exchange student, April-Louise Pennant, who is also a founding member of the B.I.C said, ‘Myself and the other co-founders are very happy to have an opportunity to contribute to the International Week. We hope to organize more activities to promote cultures within the Black Community on the campus.’ At another Cultural Sharing Session on the cultural similarities and differences among Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan, the hosts from these three places led the discussion in an objective and light-hearted perspective.
The International Concert, named ‘Music for All Ears’, was the finale of the International Week. At the concert, student performers from different origins won rounds of applause from the audience with their versatility. The variety of performances also showed diversity – singing in different languages, rock’n’roll music, K-pop dance, band show and instrumental performance.
Three cooking classes were organized a week prior to the International Week. Students from Turkey, Ecuador and Taiwan demonstrated how to cook some of their signature home dishes, as well as shared their cultures with the fellow students. Lisset Jaramillo from Ecuador said, ‘I feel happy that I was involved in the cultural diversity activities by conducting the cooking class and performing at the International Concert. It is important that the University values students from different places.’
The organizing committee of the International Week also demonstrated cultural diversity, with the members representing the International Student Association, the Mainland Undergraduate Association and the Taiwanese Student Association. The students showed high level of participation and commitment from planning, coordinating to implementation. With the assistance and support from the Office of Student Affairs, the International Week was made a success.
To learn more about the cultural activities, visit www.facebook.com/CUHKCulturalEncounters.