World Week 2010

Cultural preservation: A growing imperative

By Tara Callear
Sun Star Calendar Editor

Image courtesy of RJ Mikulski.

Sameness, on a small scale, is comforting as it affords a sense of belonging. But let’s face it, on a large scale, it’s just plain boring.

World Week 2010, formerly known as International Education Week, is going to be everything but boring. The week’s events, running Nov. 15-20, will take participants beyond the former focus on the benefits of exchange to a broader celebration of cultural traditions. Each event draws on some aspect of what it is that defines us with respect to others around the world.

The schedule incorporates various forms of cultural expression, food, oral tradition, music, dance and artistry, to name a few. Everyone is encouraged to come and experience what Ana Richards, manager of UAF Multi-Cultural Affairs, calls “one of the most important traditions celebrated at UAF.” She backs this claim with an emphasis on the importance of a global perspective in a diverse business market.

Cultural knowledge aside, we are all social beings. The Global Gala, the main event of the week, will surely satisfy this innate desire in all who attend. It plans to be a swanky intermingling of culture, with live dance performances, eclectic music, international delicacies, and prize drawings.

Diwali, a Festival of Lights, promises to be yet another enriching evening.  This Hindu celebration will illuminate the darkness and strengthen interconnectedness with a night of authentic Indian cuisine, cultural performances, and the sale of imported Indian crafts.

Tickets, priced at $12 for students and $15 general, will be sold at the Wood Center front desk.

Preservation of culture is a growing imperative. Although technology and ease of travel have served to increase awareness through access, the threat of homogenization is real. In this age of globalization, unifying the UAF campus in a collective appreciation of diversity couldn’t be timelier. Let’s come together and celebrate world exchange!

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