Students at Algonquin got an opportunity on March 25 to travel around the world in just two hours.
The college held its 20th annual Celebration of Cultures in the Student Commons and gave attendees a chance to learn about other countries far from Canada.
Countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Kuwait, South Korea and many others offered samples of food while the front of the Student Commons was open to special performers who showcased music and dancing.
Harmanjoyt Singh and Jaskirat Singh brought the house down with their Bhangra dance routine. Bhangra is a folk dance that originated in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
This was the second time Harmanjoyt had performed at Algonquin but the first time he had perfomed with Jaskirat.
“This is my first time here at Algonquin,” said Jaskirat. “I’m new to Canada. I came two months ago. I really love this because you get to see each and every country’s culture. We get to meet people of different cultures and interact with them so that’s really cool.”
Lori-Elle Burch, who is the President of the International Club at Algonquin, a travel and tourism student and emcee of the event, was happy to see so many people mingling through the stands.
“It’s amazing,” said Burch. “My passion is travelling, seeing the world and experiencing different cultures. I find it incredible that they’ve brought this to Algonquin.”
Another performer was Dave Charette, an Ojibwa singer representing the Mamidosewin Centre.
“We’re getting recognized more often, but in a negative way,” said Charette. “We have murdered and missing aboriginal women and that’s increasing.”
However, Charette really wanted to show that First Nations culture is more than the issues troubling their community.
“It feels great to perform for these people,” said Charette. “Most of the time (our culture) is hidden and I like that they recognize that the First Nations are still here and they want to sing for you and be the voice for the next generation.”
Burch was pleased with being able to have such an important role in the organization of the event.
“It makes me very proud to be involved in this,” she said. “I’ve seen all the students come in and they’ve tried all the different foods and have gotten to know so much about other cultures. They might not have had that chance if it hadn’t been for this event.”