Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.
What made this event so popular? Well it’s a campus-wide event where everyone can contribute and the students have a chance to learn about themselves and others. With a campus hosting around 1,600 international students from 78 different countries there is a spectrum of cultural backgrounds to share at TRU.
My promotional spiel for TRU aside, I’ve found in my humble travels that international festivals are a great place to break into exploring other cultural events. Arriving at TRU a somewhat timid soul, the International Days festival broke the ice for me. When I attended last year I discovered so many other students in attendance and witnessed people of numerous nationalities. Unlike Lohri and the Robbie Burns Supper, where only a small portion of the partygoers was not familiar with the festivals, at this event I was a curious, naive individual among a throng of others. So if you want to break into the ethnic scene these collective festivals are great as windows into each national culture (and even regional ones as you soon discover).
All the entrants of the International Days Showcase were students or did what they showcased as a hobby. You couldn’t have guessed that from their performances though. Each put everything into their little piece of the show. Whenever I think back to the event no single event stands out, simply because they were all so amazing. Here, I’ll let my photos take you through their performances. Enjoy. I sure did.
Canadian First Nations Drumming Circle
Thai Fairy Dance
Hello Vietnam Song
African Modern Dance & Video
Thai Kickboxing Dance
Indian Classical Song
Chinese Moving Boys Dance & Video
Cumbia Dance & Video
Zimbabwe Harmonica and Singing & Video
This is where my first SD card ran out of room, so I’ll stop and start another post so you readers aren’t overwhelmed.