Where can you go to try your hand at origami, listen to pípá strumming, and sample Haribo German confectioneries all at once?
TWU’s Culture Expo featured all these cultural experiences and much more. Hosted in the Reimer Student Centre lobby, Culture Expo is part of Culture Week, an annual event headed by TWU’s Intercultural Programs (ICP).
Every year, ICP hosts Culture Week, a series of activities to celebrate and honour the many nations represented on campus. This year’s Culture Week took place Oct. 24-28, 2022, and included events such as a ping pong tournament and a Global Prayer Night. The week wrapped up with a special Culture Chapel, where students, staff, and faculty gathered to worship as a global community.
One of the highlights of Culture Week is Culture Expo, where groups of students from different countries each host a booth to introduce highlights of their home country. Those attending Culture Expo are invited to experience the music, handicrafts, fashion, and food from around the world.
At Culture Expo, students can learn new things to appreciate about countries they’ve never visited but may hope to see one day. If they're lucky, they might even encounter some spontaneous dancing and musical performances. All in all, the exciting and lively atmosphere of Culture Expo reflects the diverse global community of TWU.
Merveille Missilengar, a Biology major from Chad and Senegal, was among the student leaders who participated at Culture Expo. She shared that she came to TWU for the Christian education. When asked about her home cultures, Merveille shared that she appreciates how in the religiously mixed country of Chad, people of various backgrounds can live together and are respectful of each other. She also shares that she appreciates the vibrant atmosphere of Senegal, where one can "see art in the streets and on the walls, and [hear] kids singing,” where “people love to get out, and everyone is happy.” She describes Senegal as a beautiful place “surrounded by water, where everything is fresh and affordable—a fun place to be.”
Reins Soumaré, a Media and Communications major, is also from Senegal. During Culture Expo, she hosted a table representing Mali, and she shared how in Mali, people are “very big on hospitality.” “Once you go there, you’ll find it very different," she begins, "When you go out into the neighbourhood, you’ll see people talking to each other, cooking outside, and sharing food. Neighbours know each other. They are there for you.”
Tamako Hori, Biology major, was at Culture Expo to introduce her home country of Japan, and she invited students at her booth to try their hand at origami crafts. She shared that she misses some of Japan’s foods, including takoyaki, sukiyaki, and quality, authentic Japanese sushi. For anyone who’s looking to visit Japan, she recommends trying a delicious traditional breakfast of raw egg on rice, or some distinctive local seafood. She also recommends visiting temples that are open to the public. The beauty and intentionality of the temple grounds’ architecture, symmetry, and organization, including the long stone steps leading upwards, provides an immersive experience of Japanese culture and philosophy.
Anna Scholl, Business major, presented highlights of Germany during Culture Expo. She shared that Germany has many important historic figures, including writers and inventors. For anyone visiting Germany, she recommends taking time to appreciate the country, “because every region has its specialties, including beautiful natural sites and cities with vibrant culture and local food.”
Intercultural Programs (ICP) seeks to bridge different cultures on campus. ICP welcomes students from many countries around the world, and brings people together as a global community. Located on the first floor of the Kuhn Centre, ICP is part of TWU's Global Engagement Office. Their offices are housed within a spacious and welcoming communal space for students called the Global Lounge.
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is a global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four locations in Canada: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Instagram @trinitywestern, Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.