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UR International’s Global Showcase offers cultural diversity and one helluva a party

Jonathan Petrychyn
A&C Editor

Looking for a party this Friday afternoon? UR International’s Global Showcase is a festival – taking place right in the middle of the Academic Green – which is to celebrate our campus’ diverse culture,.

“It’s just going to be one big party,” said Melissa Berwald, manager of international student services and study abroad at UR International. “This is the first global showcase we have had. We’ve had [smaller] events like this before on campus, with different names. This is way bigger than anything we’ve ever done before.”

The Green is to be packed with a veritable and literal smorgasbord of cultural experiences. With over 30 display tables, 15 performances on the interactive stage and a free international buffet, the event sure does seem to be bigger and better than anything UR International has had before.

A highlight for any student on a budget this year is the free international buffet. You do need a ticket – which is freely available to students at the UR International office – to get your plate of Indian, Chinese, African Canadian and First Nations cuisine, but the little bit of effort it takes to walk down to College West 109 will be worth it. But you better hurry, for by the time you read this, the tickets could be gone.

“We have 1,200 tickets [to the international buffet] and we’ve given away and sold most of them already,” Berwald said. “The international buffet is going to be huge and it’s going to be tasty.”

But, if you’re one of the unlucky few who cannot get a ticket to the luncheon, you can still take in the free performances on the UR International stage, which promise to be more than just another Mosaic.

“It’s going to be a really engaging event. We are really going all out to really share all of the diversity we have on campus,” said Martha Mathurin, a study-abroad specialist at UR International, who has been co-ordinating the displays and the performances.

There is to be a mix of contemporary and traditional cultural performances and you can expect to see contemporary Pakistani hip-hop dance, traditional Korean drumming, salsa dancing, along with other performances from China, India and Nigeria, just to name a few.

But UR International isn’t interested in just providing free entertainment to students. Berwald hopes the Global Showcase will bring awareness to the diverse cultures situated on campus.

“We have a very diverse campus and a culturally-sensitive community, so we want to foster that international community spirit,” Berwald said. “It’s welcoming to all of the new international students… [and] it gets faculty and staff out to join the student events, so it’s all encompassing.”

Not an international student? Don’t fear that the events will be totally impenetrable to you. The event promises to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of where you were born or where you call home.

“We don’t want this to be an entirely international event,” Mathurin reassured. “We want domestic students to come and, you know, participate and learn a little bit about the world.

“We’re bringing the world to Regina. We really want the students to be engaged in the opportunity. This will be a one-time opportunity to see the world without the jetlag.”

The UR International Global Showcase is to take place on the Academic Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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