Following on from last year’s event, our Celebration of Culture returned for 2023, and allowed students to embrace and celebrate the wide range of cultures we have at EKC Ashford College.
Students and staff at EKC Ashford College come from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, and we like to embrace this with our Celebration of Culture event. Held for the first time last year, this is now an annual event, and is just one of many events that we do throughout the year to enhance the student experience, and promote learning in different ways.
It was an honour this year for the event to be officially opened by Ashford’s Mayor, Cllr Jenny Webb.
Giving a speech to the students, she said of the day “I was delighted to be invited by the Student Union team, to come along this morning to open the Celebration of Culture. EKC Ashford College is fortunate enough to have students and staff members of all cultures, and Ashford is proud of its multiculturalism.”
“It is truly wonderful that we are celebrating today with many different cultures coming together to learn, understand and being able to appreciate the joy of traditional dance, food and beliefs. This is why I accepted this invitation and I am delighted that your Student Union team have highlighted the diversity within this amazing college, and has created this cultural celebration”.
After her speech, Cllr Jenny Webb met some of our Student Union in person, and even joined in a Conga line later in the day to celebrate alongside students.
Activities on the day included returning favourites from last year, such as Toa Haka UK teaching our students Haka Dancing, and Belly Dancer Giorgia who challenged our students and even some of our staff to see who was the best at belly dancing.
Music for the day was provided by Steel Pan in Motion, a group who teach and promote the art of steel pan drumming in the South East. It was great to relax to the music and join in all the activities, listening to classic tunes and modern hits all played on a steel drum.
We also had food from around the world, such as Greek Souvlaki and Tirokroketes (Fried cheese balls). These were made by a selection of local restaurants, as well as our Catering students. Our students also got the chance to show off their cultures in our student centre, with personal displays and presentations they had created about their backgrounds.
College Services Manager Maryam also got involved and offered temporary Henna art on hands. Henna is a popular type of art that has been around for 9000 years, with its roots tracing back to the Middle East and Egypt.
These come in a range of designs, and Maryam pretty much worked non-stop all day with queues of people wanting a design. This really allowed our students to get involved with the day, as well as appreciating the art and the hard work that it took to create.
It was great to see so many students enjoy the day, and we can’t wait till the next event that we hold, bringing fun and joy to all in Ashford College.