While you read more about AGU Intercultural Series – Pakistan Edition, as always, we invite you to sample some of the music played during the event:
Ten months have passed since the last AGU Intercultural Series Edition, the second in the series, which focused on Morocco… and it was more than time for AGU students and staff to revisit this fun and exciting event series and to discover a new country and culture from among our AGU International Student group!
Let’s take a quick look back at the concept and purpose of the AGU Intercultural Series, which were jointly created by the University’s International Office and the “AGU International Association” Student Club:
What are the AGU Intercultural Series?
The AGU Intercultural Series were launched as an interactive gathering, where AGU members of a certain nationality/origin have the opportunity to present their country and culture to the rest of the AGU community as well as participants from outside the University interested in joining the event.
The events are organized by the student members of the AGU International Association, the students presenting their country and the members of the AGU International Office.
The key objectives are to:
- Highlight and raise the international profile of the University
- Highlight the World’s cultural variety, differences, similarities, evolution
- Encourage dialogue among cultures, intercultural exchange, cultural enrichment
The support of the AGU Press Relations Office, the Health, Culture and Sports Office, the University Maintenance Team, as well as catering company are always key to the success of these Series.
Each event of the AGU Intercultural Series is unique, as it not only reflects each country’s particular culture, history and traditions, but also the individual personalities of each hosting group of students;
However, as a general idea, the Series are the opportunity to share information on: Geography, History, Values, Traditions, Music, Dance, Language, Sports, Cuisine, Religion, Etc.
Organizers have the opportunity to display slideshows, music, photos, videos, performances, snacks…
… In the hopes of transmitting joy, fun, knowledge, curiosity, cultural input and positive messages!
With a 9% international student ratio and 50 nationalities (from the European, Asian, American, African and Oceania continents) represented on campus by our international staff and students, there were many potential candidates to lead this Third Edition of the AGU Intercultural Series.
This time the organizers decided to give the floor to our Pakistani students, who represent 12% of our international student body and are currently the largest international student group on campus.
Our Pakistani team and members of the International Student Club were very passionate about the organization and the smooth execution of this event.
They therefore started the preparation work and rehearsals of their performances early in the year; and worked all the way through late into the night prior to the event!
To the delight of their audience, they not only prepared oral presentations on Pakistan, but also several dance and song recitals, short skits and beautiful hand-made decorations!
And of course, a part that is always very awaited by event participants is the traditional food; and our hosts did not miss the occasion, along with the unfailing support of their student friends (as well as the kind help of our University canteen staff members and the loan of their kitchen), to prepare a delicious typical Pakistani meal.
Although the event was scheduled to start at 2pm, our group of organizers was already on site in the morning to ensure the set-up of the Conference Hall, where the event would take place, as well as to supervise the final details for the meal preparation.
In terms of decoration, nothing had been left to chance by our hosts including our Pakistani students and Turkish and international members of the AGU International Association; The team arrived mid-morning to set up the Pakistan flag above the stairs leading to the Conference Hall, as well as white and green ribbons all along the walls of the room, a beautiful “PAKISTAN” foam letter display and homemade decorations set with light garlands.
When the time of the event approached, the Conference Hall quickly filled with AGU students, Faculty and Language school members, administrative staff, as well as some visitors from outside AGU, including Pakistani students from Erciyes University.
While they waited for the last seats to fill in the back of the room, the International Association played some videos on the big screen of the two previous Intercultural Series events, which had featured Kenya and Morocco.
The event was kicked off by short introductions by the Head of the International Office, Emeric Abrignani, who had been to Pakistan on several occasions for Institutions’ visits and student recruitment fairs , as well as by the Advisor to the Rector on International Affairs, Dr. E. Burak Arıkan, who has a good knowledge of the country and the student recruitment market there and was able to give some insights on Pak-Turk relations throughout time.
Once the floor was given to the students, they delighted the audience with a well-balanced and rhythmed alternation between their PowerPoint presentations, as well as small skits to lighten the mood and of course the much-awaited dance and song performances, which, along with the traditional outfits worn by all students, transported the spectators straight to Pakistan.
The presentations covered several key topics, including Pakistan’s History, Geography, Architecture, regional Cultures/Peoples/Traditions/Languages, Economic Achievements, Famous Pakistanis, as well as the country’s Gastronomy, Sports and Music.
Each section was presented by a different student in traditional Pakistani wear; The students also prepared four dances and two songs that were performed between various sections, which also helped the audience keep focused and the spirits high, thanks to catchy Pakistani melodies.
Towards the end of the event, the students displayed photos of their cooking session the previous evening in the canteen kitchen and introduced the food, which was about to be served outside the Conference Hall.
Many international and Turkish students were hands-on in helping to distribute the meal on food trays. Each participant was served a “Paratha” flatbread, Chicken Tikka (chicken cutlets in marinade) with Mint-Yogurt sauce on the side, as well as the typical sweet Lassi yogurt drink.
By the end, not a single piece of chicken was left!
The event ended on a very high note; the students received very positive and enthusiastic feedback from visitors and were happy with how the event, for which they had been preparing and rehearsing, finally turned out.
The preparation phase prior to the event and the group work it involved, were also a great way of strengthening the bonds of friendship among and between our international and Turkish students.
It also motivated them greatly for the preparation of the upcoming Fourth Edition and they already started scouting the next group to present among their peers!