To prompt exploration and celebration of our many social, cultural, national, and religious differences. – Primary objective of Ustinov Intercultural Forum (UIF)
Being part of UIF is a proud identity I have had since I joined the Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme (GCP). Ustinov GCP offers us great opportunities and flexibility in planning and organizing events to understand differences and to promote and appreciate others’ cultures. It also allows us to know and enhance our capability and creativity.
The whole process is an intercultural communication. Working with a team of people coming from different backgrounds is such an enjoyable experience as everyone has brilliant and innovative ideas by bringing in uniqueness from their own cultures or those they are familiar with. We also organized some events as a cross-team collaboration such as Seminar on Movement and Identity with Ustinov Seminar, Graduate Common Room (GCR) and Durham University Indian Society, and Concepts of Home with Race, Crime and Justice. Moreover, we have had the chance to liaise with different parties such as speakers, performers, other student societies, and last but not least college staff for support.
I guess you can’t wait to know more about our events.
Our team has put in so many efforts in organizing a wide range of events. We invite academics for discussions on cultural issues such as migration and identity, engage people in interactive activities such as language café and pinning the place(s) where you call home on the world map, and provide career advice for international students in the International Career Session.
Celebrating world culture is one of the themes of our events this year for people to learn and appreciate cultures. We had the Festival of Lights – Diwali Celebration in which the audience learnt the background, Indian dance and music, got a henna drawing, and tried authentic Indian sweets.
The International Dress Party was another highlight. Everyone was immersed in colours of national dresses, fantastic performances – Indonesian music and dancing, Chinese singing, and Bollywood dancing, and traditional desserts brought by the guests. You would never forget these events if you were there. No worries if you missed the events, check out photos from https://www.facebook.com/ustinovgcp/.
We believe that it is equally important for us to know more about the area we are living now, so we have another theme of Exploring the North East. We bring people to a local farm to learn local agriculture and taste some farm produce. A visit to Beamish Museum is a journey back to the everyday life in the old North East England. I am sure participants will have a joyful time there.
In addition to embracing differences, I have gained invaluable experiences and friendship, inside and outside of Ustinov. Ustinov GCP has created a friendly and inclusive environment to bring various cultures together as a world-in-miniature through all these wonderful events, when we are away from home for studies. Here at Ustinov we feel being at home!