The Students’ Union organised its yearly “One RGU Many Nations” event on the 27th of October, where students and staff gathered to celebrate cultural diversity at RGU. Learn more about the event and some of the countries celebrated in our blog.
What is One RGU Many Nations?
One RGU Many Nations is an annual event organised by RGU:Union celebrating the diverse culture of students at RGU. It gives both local and international students an opportunity to showcase their culture and raise awareness of diversity.
This year, RGU:Union, in collaboration with various cultural societies and groups, hosted “A Taste of Culture”. This was an incredible day celebrating the culmination of a time of cultural exchange, enabling dialogue and conversation.
The event was marked in a unique way with three different activities:
- A workshop session where we enjoyed knowledgeable insights from our intelligent speakers from diverse fields and cultural backgrounds: Filippo Antoniazzi (Director of Student Life), Dr. Uche Iloka (Law School Lecturer), and Makin Abdullah Mohammed (PG Student Oil Gas and Renewable Energy Law). In the audience we had Veronica Strachan, University Secretary and Vice Principal Corporate Services, as well as students from diverse nationalities.
- A cultural exhibition display by our talented students running cultural societies. Both staff and students enjoyed learning new things about the different countries that were represented. We had stalls displayed by our students from Brunei, China, Columbia, Ghana, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, and many more. Traditional food sampling from different countries was available for students and staff to taste.
- An entertainment celebration starting with a singing performance by the President of our Jam society Fakankun Ayo-Ola Michael. The event wrapped up with participants teaching students dance moves from their home country.
Suzanna Bamigbola, President (Communication and Democracy)
What were some of the countries celebrated?
In our culture, we appreciate family, traditions, music, and in general, we try to always look for the bright side. During the event, we wore traditional Mexican items, like handmade Mexican earrings, embroidery blouses, the Mexican football shirt, flower headbands and even the sombrero!
We offered chilaquiles, a crispy tortilla with spicy sauce, cheese and onion, and showcased cooking items used in Mexico. We also offered information about our traditions like the Day of the Dead, decorated skulls, food and drinks, music, dancing, wrestling items, etc.
Back in Mexico, we are so happy to experience those traditions that we want the rest of the world to get to know the amazing food, people and celebrations our country has.
Oliva Sanchez Montesino, President La Sociedad Society
Known as the land of the pure, Pakistan is located in South-Asia. It is the land of giant mountains, glaciers, beautiful valleys, lush green fields along with hot and cold deserts.
Pakistan is known for its hospitality, brotherhood and lovely people. There are people from different ethnicities like Punjabi, Pukhtoon, Sindhi, Balochi, and Balti united by a single faith and nationality. Urdu is the national language along with other regional languages.
Shalwaar kameez is the national dress of Pakistan, which I was wearing at the event. We- also have accessories like turban, ajrak, khairi, khussa etc. Pakistan has delicious cuisine: biryani, palao, mutanjan, karahi, dam pukht, sijji, kebabs, and many more dishes that can make your mouth water.
Pakistanis consider each day as our last, so we enjoy each day like Eid, the event of joy. We never miss a moment of celebration and are ever ready to do bhangra, Luddi, jhoomer, or attan, some of our cultural dances.
One RGU Many Nations was a remarkable event to represent our Pakistani culture. It provided us a platform to meet our community as well the other nations. We shared chocolate, vegetable palao and salad on the day.
Toseef Ahmad, Student in Pharmaceutical Science
In Nigeria, we have 3 major ethnic groups: Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. We are very cheerful people who love to dance and cook. That’s why we are known for our hospitality.
At the event, I wore an Ankara gown, which is Nigeria’s traditional outfit. Our national food is jollof rice, plaintain and moi-moi. But we have other regional foods such as Afang soup, Edikang Ikong, Ekpang Nkwukwo, Egusi soup, eba, pounded yam, fufu, and Amala and Tuwo. We decied to share plantain chips, groundnuts, coconut peanuts, Ijebu garri, chin-chin and cashew nuts with the RGU community to represent our culture.
Patricia Innocent, President Nigerian Society
Chinese culture is long-standing. We have a history of 5,000 years, in which countless artistic treasures and traditions have been born. Our traditional festivals are the Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Spring Festival, among others.
The traditional costume I wore at the event was one that was prevalent during the Ming Dynasty. The skirt I was wearing is shaped like an ancient city wall called “Mamian”, which gave its name to the skirt. For political reasons such as the change of dynasties between the Ming and Qing dynasties, the number of Ming costumes that have been passed down to the present day is very limited.
There are many traditional meals in China, and we eat different traditional foods at different festivals. Usually the traditional meals eaten in the South of China are very different from those eaten in the North. In addition to this, we have eight major cuisines, but the most popular is the Hot Pot, an ancient name for the ‘antique soup’. It is named after the ‘thumping’ sound it makes when food is thrown into boiling water. It has a long history and is a popular food for young and old alike.
Our stall offered a free display of Chinese tea and fans. China is the home of the tea tree, and fans, used to shelter from the sun and dust, have a rich cultural heritage and have even been the subjects of numerous poems and paintings throughout the ages.
China has gone through some very difficult times in its history, but it is the self-reliance of the Chinese people that has kept us going time and time again. I am very proud of China’s culture, history and the backbone of its people!
Xinyi Hou, Student in Business and Management
What was your highlight of the event?
“One RGU Many Nations was a fantastic, joyful, engaging event, as we had the privilege to learn about different cultures. The entertainment was my favourite part of the event because there was cultural integration that portrayed the ‘ONE RGU’.”Oliva
“Events such as this one bring coordination and respect among different communities, which ultimately produces a lovable, diverse environment. The best part of this event was the entertainment section. We learned some moves of Hispanic, Indian and Nigerian traditional dances. We got a chance to perform bhangra and its vibes are something else. Those moments of joy were remarkable.”Toseef
“I thought One RGU Many Nations was a great event. I loved getting to try foods from other countries. And the party afterwards was fun as well!”Patricia
“My favorite part of the show was seeing the cultural differences and the charm of the different countries.”Xinyi Hou