A look into the impact of sharing one’s culture on a college campus
BY ZULFIKAR BELAL
How proud do you feel when you introduce your country and culture to diverse multicultural students on campus?
If classrooms are filled with diverse multicultural students, the environment of a college campus resounds with the light of glory and knowledge. Besides studying, a college campus has become a place to represent and share culture to both students and education lovers. Through cultural sharing among students, a country’s culture and traditions flourish and enrich people around the world.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) students are building cultural and mutual understanding by sharing and representing their countries and cultures with students around the globe. The cultural diversity of NOVA campuses makes college life more enjoyable and friendly for the students. Learning and sharing a culture helps to increase respect between students, and it also introduces a country, its people and their traditions, to students. Representing a country on campus is a matter of elation to some students of NOVA.
Sibusiso Chipeta, who is from South Africa and is currently studying tourism and hospitality management at NOVA’s Annandale campus, described feeling “delighted” after sharing his culture through a presentation with other students in his classroom. Chipeta said that when he was talking about his tribe, the Ndebele, and the traditional attire of his tribe to the students of his class, he was impressed by their interest.
Chipeta said, “After [the] presentation, when some of my classmates were asking question about my country, my tribe and my culture, I was feeling so delighted. They were interested to know more about my country, culture and tradition, and it makes me feel proud.”
Chipeta also said that the Community College Initiative Program was a life-changing experience for him, and NOVA is supporting him to get most out of the opportunity.
Mohammed Masud, who is currently studying early childhood education at NOVA’s Alexandria campus and is from Bangladesh, described his feelings after introducing his native language, Bengali, and explaining the importance of the Bengali language to his classmates on International Mother Language Day.
“It’s vital to share culture, because as much as we learn about one another, we still have a long way to go for learning,” said Masud. “By sharing our culture and learning about others’ culture, we all explore all the incredible stories of people who are living all over the world and about these people profoundly.”
Cultural exchanges can convert a stranger to a new friend. The sharing of a culture to other students both strengthens the bond and deepens understanding between students and people throughout the world. By sharing a culture, a person gets an opportunity to know something new, experience something new and hear something that they never heard before. NOVA is both supporting students to enrich global culture and organizing different cultural events on its campuses to make student life more diverse for the NOVA Nighthawks.