Belmont students will have the opportunity to experience other cultures and learn about diversity at Belmont as part of the HOPE Council’s third annual World Culture Week.
The Belmont World Culture Festival started in 2011, and in 2015, HOPE Council — a student organization which seeks to create a more diverse and inclusive Belmont community — created World Culture Week as a way to build up to the event.
“With a week full of events and a finale festival at the end of the week, the Belmont community has the chance to engage in critical discussions around diversity and inclusion and to experience what that looks like for us here at Belmont,” said HOPE Council President Reena Patel.
World Culture Week events will run from March 19-23, culminating with the World Culture Fest on Friday. Many of the events will offer convocation credit.
The week kicked off on Monday with a panel discussion about diversity at Belmont and beyond, as well as with an international board game night.
On Tuesday, the Korean Music Business Society will show the movie “Along with the Gods” in the Johnson Theatre from 6-9 p.m.. The film is a fantasy epic dealing with themes like life, death, rebirth and the unforeseen forces that guide us.
On Wednesday, students can go to one of two World Culture Week convocations at 10 a.m.. The documentary “I Learn America” will be shown in Gabhart A&B, telling the story of five immigrant teenagers who come together as they struggle to adapt to their new land.
In Massey 104, the Black Student Association is holding a panel discussion called “Don’t Touch My Hair.” Five Belmont students will talk about the culture of African-American and minority hair, in order to educate and offer different perspectives on the subject.
For lunch on Wednesday, students can also stop by the South Lawn Parkway from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to purchase food from a variety of different international food trucks.
On Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m., the South Asian Middle Eastern Society will host Bhangra Night in the Beaman Student Life Center, where students can learn dance that combines Punjabi folk traditions with Western pop music.
On Thursday night, students can see a showcase of fashion and trends from around the world, as Belmont students walk the runway in the International Fashion Show, held in Beaman A&B from 6-9 p.m..
The week will close out with the sixth annual World Culture Festival on Friday from 4-7 p.m. in Beaman A&B. Cultural organizations on campus will come together to highlight the cultures they represent, giving guests the opportunity to experience food, music, fashion and entertainment from around the world.
“If we as a community truly want to engage and transform the world, we should immerse ourselves in the cultures, lives and experiences of others to do so,” said Patel. “By immersing ourselves in others’ experiences and hearing their stories, we have the chance to educate ourselves outside of the classroom and be part of a community effort to be more diverse and inclusive, not only here at Belmont, but in the world.”
Written by Nicole Brown.