Volume 96, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

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UCC immersed in culture

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Thinking of travelling? Have a shortage of funds? Save your cash and see the world on display at the University Community Centre this week.

The University Students' Council's Cultural Caravan is presenting its multicultural display this week in the UCC.

The festival includes a variety of activities, said Billeh Hamud, the USC International Students Commissioner. "There will be a food fair [on Wednesday] at The Wave from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Thursday, a cultural dance display will be held at Conron Hall [in University College] at 8 p.m.," Hamud said.

In addition, there will be guest speakers and presentations in the UCC. "Travel Cuts will make a presentation on Tuesday about backpacking," Hamud added.

"Canada has been able to demonstrate how many cultures can live and thrive together – Canada is a model for the world," said London North Centre member of Parliament, Joe Fontana, who spoke yesterday afternoon. He also pointed out that, in the post-Sept. 11 world, it is increasingly important to ensure that there is no racism in our homes or communities. For this reason, Western's celebration of diversity is very important, Fontana said.

Jacel Tanega, a third-year administrative and commercial studies student, said the caravan provides her with the opportunity to display an aspect of her culture. Tanega, in traditional dress, performed a Filipino dance yesterday in the atrium.

To finish off the festival, there will be a closing ceremony at Huron University College's Kingsmill Room on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Two of the organizers of the closing ceremonies, Lauren Zhang and Jon Burgess, said the celebration will include over 10 different types of food from around the world, musical performances, traditional dancing, artwork and several guest speakers.

"The closing ceremonies are put on by SAMAJ [Students Acquiring Multiculturalism with Joy]," Zhang explained. Tickets for the closing ceremony are $5 and will be on sale this week in the UCC.

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2002 THE GAZETTE