York’s Multicultural Week kicks off an annual celebration of culture

Multicultural Week for YFile homepage

The York Federation of Students (YFS) presents its annual Multicultural Week from Jan. 23 to 29. Each year, Multicultural Week presents an opportunity for students and staff to experience many of the York community’s vibrant cultures through the exchange and showcase of food, fashion, tradition and music.

Students gather for 2014 Multicultural week events
Students gather for 2014 Multicultural Week events

The festivities, which began Friday, come into full force this week with a wide variety of events including the Cultural Couture Fashion Show and the Cultural Intersection Visual Art Exhibition, both of which highlight the different ways the world’s many cultures showcase fashion and art.

Multicultural week historical image
Students parade their flags and show off their cultural roots during 2004 Multicultural Week events

On Monday, the festivities commenced with a traditional Smudging Ceremony held by the First Nations community, followed by the Multicultural Parade in the Student Centre. Student clubs portrayed their cultural history in traditional clothing, along with displays of art, political aspirations and music as they travelled across campus in a vibrant, exciting march.

The festivities continue today as the World Food Fair takes off from 11am to 2pm in the Underground restaurant in the Keele campus Student Centre. With a massive menu that includes dishes from around the globe, visitors can explore and sample such delicacies as bánh mì, bulgogi and piri-piri.

Flags flying for multicultural week
A display of world flags in the Keele campus Student Centre

On Wednesday, the Global Tour will give students an opportunity to travel the world by simply strolling through campus. On a walk through Ross Link, Vari Hall and Central Square, campus clubs will have display pavilions showcasing art, history and traditions. Later in the day, The Land of Opportunity: A Discussion of the Experience of Immigrant Families in Canada offers an open forum and safe space for dialogue about the experiences of immigrant families in Canada. This will take place at 313 Student Centre at 6pm.

Multicultural Week winds down with a massive Cultural Explosion Performance on Thursday from 2 to 6pm in the Rexall Centre. A showcase of stage performances in dance and traditional instruments ends the week, showcasing the unique artistic practices of the many diverse cultures on campus.

For more information, visit the YFS Multicultural Week website or email vpcampuslife@yfs.ca.

By Shanice Grocia, communications assistant