Once again it was Soirée Multiculturelle, (Multi-cultural Night), one of the most popular nights of the year here in Clare, Nova Scotia. This is the night to celebrate and appreciate different cultures around the world. Our student bar at Université Sainte-Anne transformed into a beautiful stage and a refreshing scene; green and yellow table clothes along with ravishing African-styled décor made for a new look. A plethora of scents from African, Moroccan, French and Acadian dishes filled every room, teasing our senses until we could eat. There was hummus, grilled vegetables and plantains, spring rolls, fried rice mixtures, rappure, quich, pies, cakes and fruit galore. My favourite drink was there as well, Bissap, a juice made from boiling the petals of an African flower.
While everyone else satisfied their bellies the beautiful girls of Africa danced like I wish I could. (Seriously, I might break a hip trying to shake it that way….) For a quick three minutes we got to experience a part of their culture and talent.
Two African students shared a poem, sharing their deep attachment to their home with the audience through stunning words and motion. There was also a fashion show, displaying traditional African clothing.
The night continued with more dancing, including a traditional Bhangra dance, singing, and giving out certificates to deserving members of the university. Eventually the audience, young and old, were on the dance floor as well, joining the students in dance.
In such a small community and university we are so lucky to be able to celebrate cultures from around the world while staying so close with the community at the same time. Hands of all colors are attached, multiple languages are spoken and differences are celebrated. This is one tradition that should always continue!