February 13, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Photos: King’s International Office

Story and graphic by Kaleigh Rodgers

Over 130 talented student performers took to the stage last Thursday to celebrate their heritage at the 10th Annual King’s Cultural Festival. The festival is the largest multicultural event on campus and aims to celebrate the rich cultural diversity present within the King’s community. The event provides a platform for international students to share their traditions, and presents an educational opportunity for all in attendance to explore the fabric of our multicultural society.  

“At the festival we are celebrating more than the art forms; we are also honouring and learning from the performers who represent cultural diversity in our midst. By engaging with those from other cultures, we learn to appreciate difference, recognize commonalities and promote intercultural learning and understanding,” says Linda Weber, Manager, International Student Services and Exchange Programs.

Daniela Dabrowski, a first generation Canadian student, was proud to share a traditional Polish Fokelore dance along with partner Krys Weiss. The duo danced the Lubelski, originating from the Lubin region of Poland. As Dabrowski’s family grew up in Lubin, she and Weiss chose the music and choreography to reflect the traditions of the region.

“As a first generation Canadian, I wanted to show something from my culture,” says Dabrowski. “I also wanted to show off that Polish people know how to dance, and that young people carry on the tradition regardless of the year, and that Polish Folklore is still taught and represented.”

Shunsuke Nakai performed a traditional Japanese dance called Soranbushi along with other members of the Legendary Soran dance group. This dance originated in northern Japan where it was done by fisherman as a good omen for a prosperous catch. The Soranbushi is now a popular dance throughout Japan, which is performed at festivals by people of all generations.

“Although international students try to learn and integrate into culture here in Canada, they still remain proud of their own cultures and are always eager to show them,” says Nakai. “King’s as a diverse university with international students from all over the world, helps us to show our cultures through the cultural festival.”  

With a full house of over 350 guests, the festival was an outstanding success. Attendees enjoyed performances representing approximately 15 ethnicities ranging from a traditional Aboriginal drum chant, to Korean pop music, and much more. Student Festival Organizer David Gonzalez is proud of the hard work and dedication of all performers and volunteers that made the event so successful.

“It's great to see so many fellow students from King's and Western come together to represent all the cultures that are present in our community,” says Gonzalez. “This is a great King's tradition as it brings so many people, both Canadian and international, together to celebrate diversity.”

To view the Cultural Festival's photo gallery, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.513617055348511.125107.281129505263935&type=1

For more information about King's Cultural Festival, please contact King's International Office: international@kings.uwo.ca