DIFFERENT BUT INCLUSIVE – International Cultural Fair 2017 at USJ

Pedro Daniel Oliveira

Aiming to create awareness regarding different characteristics of multiculturalism in Macau, the University of Saint Joseph Students’ Association organized, last Friday, the International Cultural Fair 2017 in its garden and playground area located in NAPE 1.

Sofia Lei Lei, 21, was able to “interact with different cultures,” which she found a “cool thing to do.”

Furthermore, she could “get to know more about people from different places,” such as what “other cultures do in terms of their culinary treats” and how “they socially get along with others.” Sofia, a local resident born in Madrid, Spain, is doing her Bachelor’s Degree in Government Studies at USJ.

Nigerian Muhammad Bashir Saidu, 35, was delighted to let others know about his country’s traditional costumes, such as the kurta-pyjama, usually called buba riga. Or a traditional hat, described more or less like those in Indonesia or Malaysia. “It’s a cultural hat,” he told us, prior to the event. Mr Saidu is doing his PhD in Science at USJ.

Indonesian Kornelius Supranoto Bardata, 32, is on his final year of Master’s Degree in Religious Studies. With the help of some friends, he was able to present four or five dishes regarding the traditional food of his country.

Moreover, he was happy to realize that “although not being as larger as the one in Hong Kong, the Indonesian community is very well integrated in Macau, since almost all can speak Cantonese.” Besides the fact that “they also speak English,” Mr Bardata is aware that “some even can speak Portuguese.”

Being part of the organization allowed Jeremy Tang, 21, to represent how the city of Macau is multicultural, not only in terms of local food and traditions, but also on how a vast range of different cultures blend together. He is the Internal Vice President of USJ Students’ Association.

Office for International Relations and Regional Cooperation at USJ Director Paula Mota told O CLARIM the intention of organizing this event was “to show students that cultures, although very unique, allow moments of convergence where they can live in harmony.”

“It’s something really interesting,” Ms Mota stated, adding the fact that “20% of the USJ students are from overseas, totalizing 49 countries.”

The International Cultural Fair 2017 had the participation of students and teachers from Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, East Timor, Pakistan, Cape Verde, Guinea, Macau, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Portugal, Nigeria and Taiwan, as well as the Catholic Society, the USJ music group and several local students who showcased the customs and traditions of Mainland China.



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