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25/08/2017

 
Nelson Mandela University’s Office for International Education launched the International Culture Fest for the very first time on Saturday, 19 August at the Tramways Building. The purpose of this festival was to celebrate the rich cultural diversity within the university as well as in the city.  The festival was previously known as the Multicultural Extravaganza and was part of International Diversity Week on campus. The event, which was only accessible to university staff and students, was moved to a public space so that it was open to everyone.

The International Culture Fest sought to celebrate diversity by means of showcasing different cultures from around the world, for example, different cuisines, traditional clothing and dances. There are approximately 1500 international students from 84 countries at Nelson Mandela University. Fourteen of these countries took part in the international student food stalls which included the Netherlands, Malawi, Botswana, Tanzania, France, South Africa, Swaziland, Nigeria, Germany, East Africa, and Zimbabwe. The students prepared authentic food and exhibited different traditional items and souvenirs to educate attendees about their culture and country. Samples of each stall’s traditional cuisine were handed out to attendees – free of charge. These stalls were judged on their creativity, effectiveness in portraying each country, effort and food items presented. Cash prizes were awarded to Swaziland, Tanzania and Botswana who took first, second and third place respectively.

Other aspects of the festival included food stalls of popular local food vendors in the Nelson Mandela Bay. These represented different types of international cuisine including Asian, German, Mexican, Portuguese, African, Indian, and Malaysian. Attendees were also kept entertained with a four-hour, jam-packed programme.  On-stage performances included traditional African and Indian dances, a Chinese Lion Dance performance, and singers.

The International Culture Fest was one of the first public events in the Nelson Mandela Bay since the university’s name change and rebranding. The event boasted a full house of just over a thousand attendees, including students, scholars and families. The festival was officially opened by the Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations, Mr Pieter Swart, where he welcomed attendees and spoke about the concept of the event.

One of the attendees - a local Nelson Mandela University student, Ms Thandokazi Magopheni - thoroughly enjoyed the festivities and the food from the international student stalls. She said, “It was great to experience what their daily food tastes like. It was a great time to meet up with people from different backgrounds and just celebrate the uniqueness of all our different cultures through food, arts, music and dance.” 

Contact information
Ms Janine Wagenaar
Public Relations, Events and Visitors Coordinator
Tel: +2741 504 4093
jwagenaar@mandela.ac.za