The Student Council at the HCT’s Khalifa City Women’s College organized their second annual International Cultural Day this week.
This year’s theme was “Gulf States United,” with a focus on the similarities among the cultures of the various GCC countries. Displays and activities acquainted participants with Gulf neighbors Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Students reported an increased awareness of the valuable traditions of the other Gulf countries.
Booths in the College’s large Sports Hall featured stands staffed by students who had researched and taken a sincere interest in the various countries they were representing. One student explained that because her mother is Qatari, she has spent much time in Qatar.
Students prepared leaflets describing each nation’s location, rulers, currency, flag, cultural celebrations, and other key cultural factors. Some embassies of the UAE’s neighboring countries supported the event by sending flags, handicrafts, and posters.
Although the College’s Emirati students are familiar with many elements of these cultures, this event increased their appreciation.
KCWC student Alaa said, “I have learned a lot about the other Gulf cultures by preparing for this event. Yes, I already knew some things, but now I know much more.”
In addition to gaining information about the GCC nations, a KCWC student noted the commonalities among the region’s cultures. “We are all Muslims, and our cultures are very close,” said Mouza.
Some of the elements shared among the six nations are social customs such as marriage, education, and child-rearing; food traditions, such as sharing hospitality in the form of tea, coffee, and dates; and religious observances such as Ramadan and Eid Al Adha, which play similar roles in all of the Gulf countries.
The UAE’s own culture was featured in a heritage corner in which women wove traditional embroidery, used to form luxurious wrist- and ankle-bands. Special guests were the Dibba National Band, who performed the traditional yola for an appreciative audience. As usual, students were proud to describe their rulers, their nation’s achievements, their flag, and other national symbols of the UAE.