Multicultural Week returns to promote unity at York

 Members of the Afghan Students Association show off their traditional dress

Beginning Monday, flags from around the world will bloom from the ceilings, and the sounds of various cultures will fill the hallways, announcing the start of Multicultural Week, celebrating the diversity of York students for its seventh year.

This year’s Multicultural Week, which runs April 27 to 30 on the Keele campus, will feature a strong display of unity. The popular event aims to bring the York community together with more than 50 cultural clubs featuring colourful displays, dazzling performances – and of course, great tasting food. The event promises to provide students with a platform for cultural expression and an opportunity to educate themselves about other cultures. 

Left: Colour abounds at the Student Centre

The opening ceremony will take place Monday at 10:30am, on the red carpet of the CIBC Lobby, Accolade East Building. It will be followed by the annual Multicultural Parade to York Lanes at 11am. Students will be decked out in gold face paint and equipped with cardboard cutouts of their representative countries. York’s very own Samba Squad will lead the parade of flags, floats and enthusiastic students. The parade will end at the site of the Global Fashion Show at 2pm, in the food court of the Student Centre, where participants will get a chance to strut their stuff and show off their cultural attire.

The famous Global Food Fair, where everyone is invited to indulge their appetites with tasty delights from various part of the world, will take place at noon on Tuesday in the Underground’s Contact space (in the Student Centre). From 1 to 4pm, DJ Battles will rock the Student Centre, as DJs from around the globe compete for the first position.

“This is one event that really celebrates York’s diverse community,” says Nicole Azuaga-Gabriel, york is U signature events director and third-year criminology student. “Multicultural Week is a chance for York’s cultural community to shine, and that is something I am proud to be a part of.”

Left: Stage show performance at Multicultural Week 2008

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Global Village will showcase more than 50 of York’s cultural clubs and their extravagant displays from 11am to 5pm, where visitors can “travel” the world in a few hours, just by strolling through the lobby of the Accolade East Building.

The renowned Stage Shows will take place Thursday from 2 to 8pm at the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre in the Accolade East Building. Amid colours from around the globe, student cultural organizations will perform their hearts out in celebration of diversity.

“This event represents the true essence of York,” says Shaharyar Javed, york is U promotions coordinator and fourth-year science & technology student.

Multicultural Week will also provide stimulation for your brain with a thought-provoking forum titled Dealing Diversity, taking place on Monday from 4:30 to 6:30pm in the Chancellor’s room of the Underground. This forum will be a discussion on multiculturalism in Toronto with special guest speakers including York English Professor Kalli Paakspuu.

For more information and for a detailed schedule of events check out the york is U Web site or e-mail Nicole Azuaga-Gabriel at