A cultural melting pot

'Gardenia'

Garden City College recently hosted a five-day annual fest ‘Gardenia’, which saw more than 30 colleges participate in full strength.

The fest had around 40 events. The crowd-pullers were the ‘DJ Nite’, the dance party and the get-together of international students, which attracted more than 3,000 students from 73 countries.

The highlight of the fest was indeed the international students’ day, which had events like solo dance, group song, group dance, solo song and beat-boxing. There were stalls showcasing a glimpse of each country. The five-day event drew to an end with exciting events, including a Chinese song, an African ramp walk, a Maldivian skit and Nepali and Sri Lankan dances.

 The City’s expat student community had gathered in large numbers and most of them made the best of the opportunity to widen their circle of expat friends and make new contacts.

There were various stalls erected by the students of different countries. Each stall had a brief note about the history, culture, language and food specialities of that
particular country. The students went all out and dressed in their traditional attire, which they had either borrowed or brought with them from their country.

Ahmed, a student of Garden City College, got his group of Arab friends to dress in their traditional attire. An excited Ahmed says, “It feels like we are back home, dressed in our traditional outfit. This is the only time in the year when we get to showcase our country and its speciality to others.”

Buddhini, a Sri Lankan and a final-year student of Indian Academy College, brought along her Sri Lankan friends, Chamini and Heshni. “We were thrilled to see a stall on Sri Lanka. It highlights the importance of Kandy Perahera, a traditional custom of Sri Lanka and the specialities of Sri Lankan cuisines such as thala and aluwa. It reminds us of our home,” explains Buddhini.

There was a huge group of students from the Ivory Coast at the fest. They were all final-year degree students at SSR College. Elg, one of the student says, “We’ve been in the City for about four years now and this is one get-together we never miss. We get to meet our fellow countrymen and we also get to know more about the culture of other countries.”

The moment Azar, an Iranian, heard about the international students’ day, she bought herself a sari and got her Indian friends to help her drape it.

“I love the sari and I thought by wearing one, I could show my solidarity towards India and its people. It is quite a hassle managing the sari but I am enjoying every moment in it,” beams Azar.

Tandehui from China, a final-year student at Garden City College, came to India to pursue higher studies and learn English.

“The opportunities to learn English are limited in my country. Studying in India gives me an exposure to different cultures,” he says.

The evening culminated with a fashion show, dance and music by the students of different countries.

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