Here comes Multicultural Week

The sounds of music from the world’s cultures, a mosaic of flags and traditional dress, a parade and a global village are all part of one of the most anticipated student events at York University, with the start of the eighth annual Multicultural Week celebration today. The event, which runs until Thursday, celebrates the diversity and unity of York students. This year’s Multicultural Week has been planned around the theme “Represent Culture, Celebrate Freedom”.

Above: Students from the Japanese International Students Association take part in the 2009 Multicultural Week parade

More than 50 student cultural clubs are participating in Multicultural Week. The official opening ceremony takes place this morning at 10:30am on the red carpet of the CIBC Lobby located in the Accolade East Building on the Keele campus. Immediately following the opening ceremony, at 11am, students dressed in the traditional styles of their home countries, bearing flags and signs, will parade around the campus. York’s very own Samba Squad drum ensemble will lead the parade. The parade will end with the Global Fashion Show, taking place at 2pm in the Student Centre Food Court.

Left: Students from the Polish Students Association show off their traditional costumes at the 2009 Multicultural Week Global Fashion Show

Later this evening, guest speakers, including York Federation of Students President Krisna Saravanamuttu, will participate in a forum titled “Dealing Diversity”. The forum, which runs from 5:30 to 7:30pm in 313 Student Centre, offers participants the chance to discuss multiculturalism and diversity in the city of Toronto.

On Feb. 9, the Global Food Fair returns for another great year. This delicious event brings the world’s cuisine to York University. It begins at 12pm in the Contact room in the Underground restaurant in the Student Centre. Then, from 2 to 5pm, students can rock to the world’s music as DJs battle it out for the coveted first position as Multicultural Week’s global DJ.

“Multicultural week is a celebration of the unification of all cultures on campus,” says Nadini Dukhu, a fourth-year bachelor of human resources management student. “It demonstrates what we [York students] would like reflected worldwide.”

Right: Punjabi Student Association representatives during the 2009 Global Village

On Feb. 10 and 11, the Global Village showcase returns for another year. Featuring informative displays created by 50 of York’s student cultural clubs, the Global Village highlights the diversity of York’s students. Visitors to the Global Village can travel the world in first-class fashion in just a few hours. The Global Village displays and information booths will be located in the lobby of the Accolade East Building from 11am to 5pm on Wednesday and from 11am to 3pm on Thursday.  

Student cultural organizations, performers and groups will take centre stage later in the day on Feb. 11, at the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre in Accolade East. The free performances take place from 2:30 to 8:30pm and offer an array of musical and performance styles, including traditional dancing, music and vocals.

For more information, contact Antony Permesurdin, york is U signature events director, at