York celebrates its first Multicultural Week — Feb. 10-13

See the flags, taste the food, hear the music! Watch the parade!

A rich cultural mix of students at York has come together to launch the first Multicultural Week, showcasing the cuisines, art, entertainment and social and religious values that make life at York a truly global Canadian experience.

The York is U school spirit campaign has gone all out to transform York Lanes into a sampling of far-off worlds. With the ceiling festooned with flags from countries around the globe, there is an air of festivity. The team has worked wonders, organizing events not only in York Lanes but also in the Underground.

The mammoth event will open officially with a parade at 11am today, from York Lanes to Central Square and back. It will be led by master drummer Isaac Akrong and the West African Drum Ensemble of the Music Department at York. Akrong, now doing an MA in dance at York, has worked with the Ghana Dance Ensemble.

At approximately 11:30am there will be an opening address on the main stage in York Lanes, with a multicultural presentation by Leonard T. Lombardi, York alumnus and president of CHIN Radio/TV INternational. Dancing and music displays will flow for the rest of the day.

“We wanted to show how the many ethnic groups on campus interact,” says Multicultural Week Director Heather McKenzie. “York students tend to be very active culturally and they generally interact in a positive way, so we are celebrating how enriching that environment is.”

York is U Chair Jeremy Greenberg says there are probably more student clubs at York than at any other university in Canada, with ethnic associations from every continent. “It’s great to see everyone coming together like this in an atmosphere of mutual respect and celebration.”

York Lanes is home to the Multicultural Village, which includes a large main stage where you can watch displays of cultural fashions, martial arts, dancing and cooking, and listen to choirs, DJs and more. And you can drop by the decorated tables that students have set up to celebrate, educate and communicate their diversity. While you’re there, take a chance on cultural bingo, too!

The Underground restaurant, which featured a multicultural food fair yesterday as clubs sold their cultural food to the backdrop of music from around the world, is where you’ll find  multicultural specials all week long.

For other details about events, times and locations visit http://www.yorku.ca/yorkisu/events/multiculturalweek.htm.

To view the York Lanes Multicultural Week layout, check http://www.yorku.ca/yorkisu/events/multi/village.htm.