The International Student Group of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) organised the first International Night entitled “Unity in Diversity” at the university’s premises in Halban last week. Throughout the evening, GUtech students presented poems in German and Arabic, a fashion show of Bangladeshi dresses was showcased and traditional Sri Lankan dances were shown. “The event shows the commitment and the vision of our university being an international university. We appreciate the work of the International Student Group to unite all nationalities,” said Dr Juergen Werner, Deputy-Rector for Academic Affairs in his speech.
International students and staff attended the event in their traditional attires, making the whole ambience vibrant with rich colours and beautiful dresses. Various food stalls, boutiques, and quiz programmes also kept up the multi-cultural spirit of the evening. “During my initial days at GUtech I was surprised on observing the cultural, linguistic and ideological diversity and richness of students and staff. Cultural events of this kind help create a general feeling of tolerance and appreciation for the unique aspects of various cultures and traditions. Also when various cultures meet, we learn that there are more similarities and fewer differences,” said Shaharin Hassain, President of the International Student Group.
All through the event food stalls offered authentic dishes from Oman, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Italy, Africa and Iraq and a stand by the US Embassy. There were raffle draws and awards for best dress, best performer and best stall, as well as quiz programmes and prizes. “The event has been organised as a means to showcase the rich cultural diversity of GUtech and also to generate among the students a feeling of appreciation for other cultures, views and lifestyles,” said Ayisha Albright, student affairs executive. “Considering conflicts and a sense of distrust and intolerance increasingly becoming the norm, no effort should be spared to bring together various cultures and viewpoints to facilitate meaningful dialogue and mutual understanding and respect,” she said. A children’s fashion show by the Annanya group from Bangladesh, and the traditional Kandyan dance of Sri Lanka as well as Indian and Bangladeshi dance performances received appreciative applause.