Volume 95, Issue 47

Friday, November 23, 2001
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Celebrating a diverse culture

Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

Celebrating a diverse culture

Props should always be given where and when they are deserved.

As such, the Caribbean Students' Organization definitely deserves praise.

Yesterday, the CSO transformed the dreaded University Community Centre atrium from a cesspool of hustling, blank-faced students to a beautifully decorated celebration of life, culture and diversity.

A total of 29 islands in the west Caribbean were represented yesterday in the CSO's first annual Caribbean Cultural Festival. The massive time and effort put forth by the organizers resulted in a welcoming atmosphere, filled with music, food, flags, hair braiding, information and much more.

The various displays were filled with bright, eye-catching posters, while the air was filled with a heavy dose of reggae music and the exotic aromas of Caribbean food.

While the atrium provides an excellent platform for almost any individual or group to raise awareness about a particular cause, too often students use it to protest or complain about everything that is wrong with the world.

This is sometimes overbearing and it should come as no surprise that many students get tired of it. Upon entering the atrium, many students find themselves asking "Oh no, what now?"

However, with many students stressed out about essays and exams, it is such a nice surprise to enter the UCC and, instead of being greeted with controversy and protest, you are met with pleasant faces and great attitudes.

Instead of people soliciting your hard-earned cash, you are faced with a celebration of life.

It is absolutely wonderful that deep inside the heart of Western, there is room for diverse communities to exist and thrive. Although many international students may find themselves far away from home, they are able to develop a strong sense of family and community here on-campus.

It is that most Canadain of attributes – multiculturalism – and it is one that members of the CSO certainly seem to embrace.

Furthermore, exposing Western students to unique cultures provides the tools needed to demolish stereotypes. Informative displays and people learning more about any of the world's cultures strengthens not only the individual, but the entire Western community.

While many Western students may have had the opportunity to vacation in the Caribbean, they rarely experience the culture that exists just beyond the gates of a swank resort.

In a time where the world is divided by conflict, it is wonderful to see different cultures coming together in peace. Although the celebration of one culture may not change the entire Western atmosphere, it is most definitely a step in the right direction.

Not to mention a nice break from the everyday.

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