Dubai, December 10, 2014: Over 96 different nationalities were celebrated at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) this month during a four-day-long annual Multicultural Festival, which culminated in festivities honouring the UAE's rich cultural mosaic.
Celebrating its ninth anniversary, this year's Multicultural Festival celebrations saw students and staff at the Knowledge Village campus showcase the customs, costumes and cuisines that characterise the University's many different nationalities. Under the banner ‘Colours of Diversity' and organized by the UOWD's Student Services Department, this year's event was the biggest ever with hundreds of students joining in the fun.
Throughout the four-day fiesta, students representing 23 different countries honored their home nations with cultural stalls featuring flags, costumes, imagery and artifacts. The final day saw prizes awarded to the best informative, traditional and creative stalls, with Sri Lanka winning the popular vote, followed by Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Students also exhibited paintings and photos celebrating global diversity, enjoyed performances from Arab, Urdu, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Tagalog, Russian and African musicians, took part in their own PlayStation World Cup football tournament and enjoyed being snapped in a dedicated photo-booth whilst wearing traditional dress.
The final day of the festival saw UOWD take over the Knowledge Village courtyard in a dazzling finale that celebrated the UAE's cultural diversity. The day involved a performance by the Dubai Drums group, traditional Majlis with coffee, tea and henna, a food festival featuring authentic food from the UAE and across the globe, a traditional fashion show, a flag parade and more music and dance performances from students.
Summing up the thoughts of the participating students, Mira Gorajia, a BCom (Finance) student said, “The opportunity to showcase our national pride, whilst at the same time learning so much about our friends' cultures and celebrating the UAE's amazing multicultural make-up has been wonderful.”
Viacheslav Shakov, President of the University's Student Representative Council, added: “This year's Multicultural Festival articulated UOWD's mission to be a diverse environment that celebrates different cultures. Seeing so many students enjoy the opportunity to ‘explore the world' via the festival's many different events and activities has been fantastic. As a student studying for a degree in Human Resource Management, it's been particularly interesting from a personal perspective as it allowed me to really understand so many different cultural traditions, which will be very useful when I enter into the world of work after graduation.”