One World Week, 18 – 22 February, 2019
“One of my key priorities as the sabbatical officer for internationalisation and culture at CUSU was to create an event which celebrated the diversity of our student body as Coventry University is the home to students from various parts of the world."
Blessed Pebble, the welcoming face of One World Week
“On Friday 22 February, we had our International Culture night to climax the One World Week Celebration.
“The atmosphere in the room was amazing as we had a variety of performances from different cultures.
“I am looking forward to organising more events like this”.
Blessed Pepple, Vice President, Internationalisation and Culture
Coventry University’s Students’ Union has always celebrated One World Week but when Blessed Pepple took over the coordinating of One World Week, he decided to add a diversity theme and make the campaign bigger on campus.
“My aim was to get as many students from different cultures to be part of the week and to get the societies involved as much as possible.
“Now CUSU has an International Culture Community, the event was planned by the community in collaboration with the One World society. I oversaw the whole project and made sure that all the planning, organisation and events were something that people would enjoy.”
The international culture community helps students to adapt and integrate into the system of learning and culture here in Coventry by supporting them in several ways.
The community is proud of its diversity on campus and organises different events to make sure all students are represented and catered for.
The aim of the week was to celebrate those cultures and, at the same time, celebrate our own student body and its diverse population!
There were a number of activities taking place throughout the week, starting with the Open Mic Night on Monday 18 February in Square One.
The packed house looking forward to the entertainment
It was an amazing opener to the week with approximately 300 students turning out. The evening was full of performances by many talented students, most of whom, performed in their native language. It was also an opportunity for some students to shed a light onto some social issues that were important to them. One World Week is not just about celebrating cultures but also raising awareness about culturally sensitive issues.
Some performances from open mic night.
On Tuesday, there was the Food Fair in The Hub. It was a joint collaboration with LO&CO so that food from different countries were available and their menus were adapted to fit in with the theme of the week.
Food dishes included: Italian pizza as well as Asian Noodles, Indian Beef Balti, a selection of Mediterranean dishes Moroccan, Greek, French, Spanish, Turkish and a Pop- Up stand with a taste of the Caribbean – in fact, there was something for everyone and it was great to see people trying out a variety of food.
On Thursday 21 February, it was Arts and Crafts day in the Hub, which was a free event and one which the One World Society took the lead on. There was a range of different arts and crafts to have a go at from origami, candle decorating for Hanukkah, God’s eyes for Native America, Henna for Diwali, Chinese calligraphy and paper fans to name but a few. There was also a display from the Malaysian and Singaporean society showing some traditional games, snacks and drums.
The society also had a screen to show people about some historical places in Malaysia, the Indonesian society displayed some traditional outfits and the Nigerian society taught students how to tie a traditional head wrap called the GELE.
In fact, there were so many displays of fabrics from around the world, the Hub was awash with colour.
In the evening, it was Games Night at the Phoenix.
The games night was more of a quiz night with rounds on language, fashion, food and sports from around the world. The winners on the night won £20 and after the quiz, there was the opportunity to stay and play other games such as Fifa and card games
However, the climax of the week was the International Culture Night which was held in the Engineering and Computing Building from 6 – 9pm.
The room was decked out with flags of the world, which was apt because what we saw was world class talent from performers across the globe.
Lots of food available at the International Night
The 300-strong audience sat in anticipation for what was to follow.
The evening kicked off with music from the University’s Wind Band Society
The following performers treated us to a wealth of music and culture:
Malaysian-Singaporean society dance and drum, Latoo (Chinese hip hop) Ludo and Dolu Chenyun Liu, Indonesian society (fashion show) Afghan society performance, Nigerian society dance, Acrorock Society,- Bulgarian Rose Folklore, Rosi Stefanova (singer from Bulgarian society) Natasha, Tai Chi, Francis and finally, the musical extravaganza ended with Gospel Rhythm singing.
As well as the amazing musical talent, there were student awards, a great turn-out of sabbatical officers, including the SU President Toch and a fabulous selection of world food.
To sum up, Blessed Pepple said:
“I can’t thank enough all those who helped to put One World Week together. It was a lot of hard work, but it just goes to show what can be achieved when we are a team. The feedback from those who attended all, or some of, the events has been very positive and I certainly hope that year on year, One World Week becomes a much-anticipated part of the student event calendar.
“On behalf of all of us, thank you for making it such a big success and watch this space for more cultural events in future!”
Roll on 2020.
Credits: Story by Ali Bushnell and Blessed Pepple
Photographs: Phoenix Creative, Afghan Society and Ali Bushnell