One College – Many Cultures!

Stow College recently held its first Multicultural Festival to celebrate the cultural diversity of its student population.

The Festival brought together musicians, dancers and artists from countries as diverse as China, Brazil, India and Slovakia in a showcase event that was hosted by Scottish stand-up comedian, television and radio presenter Des Clarke.

Working in partnership with the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, the College was able to offer students and staff quite literally a taste of the many different cultures and countries that are represented within the College. Spectators were treated to performances from acts such as Indian/Scots fusion band Piping Hot Dholies, as well as flamboyant Chinese and Brazilian dancers.  Students and staff were also able to sample foods from around the globe. Ethnic arts and crafts were also on display; with many visitors leaving with henna decorated hands and arms. The programme of entertainment concluded with an interpretation of some traditional African dance by Stow’s own Dance students, and a performance from Slovakia’s Gipsy Rayner Band.   

Margaret Cairns, Head of Department, Information and Learning Services at Stow College, helped organise the event and commented: “We have students from over 65 countries attending courses at Stow and we were looking for our students to get involved and participate in the Multicultural Festival, to raise awareness of our diverse culture in the college and wider community. We are keen to promote Stow as a college that welcomes students from any ethnic origin. The event also gave us the opportunity to mix with our partners and celebrate cultural diversity.”

Ghzala Khan, Development Officer with the Connecting to Communities Project, at the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council. Ghzala said: “Bringing together a variety of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures for the Multicultural Festival was a challenging but exciting project and the students and staff made it a very entertaining day. Some of the organisations that were invited to provide information at the event are part of the Community Planning Partnership team whose aim is to deliver better, more joined-up public services in the city and our project works to bridge the gaps between the partners and the communities.

“As Stow is very diverse in terms of the ethnic backgrounds of its students, this was an excellent platform for introductions and to reduce barriers in terms of service provision. We hope that the Multicultural Festival will highlight the diverse cultures in Stow and the West of Scotland.”

Stow College would like to thank Bavarchi Catering who provided food tasters for the event and Depak Bali Immigration Solicitors who sponsored the entertainment.

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