International “At Home” Day 2023
On Friday, 3 February, Univ held its inaugural International “At Home” Day for the whole College community at which everyone was encouraged to bring their local delicacies, sweets or pastries to share, and to wear their own national/cultural or heritage dress (or whatever they thought best describes who they are.)
The event was the initiative of our Domestic Bursar, Angela Unsworth, who comments:
“Much of our diversity can be measured; we capture data every day about our community which demonstrates how different we all are. How numbers contribute to the rich mix of our College, how we think and importantly how we feel is very much more difficult to capture. How can we measure the essence of our different cultures and how inclusive our combined culture is across our Univ society? We believe ourselves to be warm, embracing and open – one College for all, but it is hard to quantify it.
“I have to ask whether we should even try – a quote attributed to Einstein (but still debated I believe) is that “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”. So, the inclusivity of our culture really matters to us, but we cannot measure it, except by experiencing it. When I served at the Defence Academy, the Advanced Staff Course held an International Day each year. Military officers and their families came from literally all over the world and on this one day all got together, with their families, to show each other something of their own culture and share an insight into their heritage. Bringing the idea to Univ felt like it would be fun; sharing food and talking about heritage is a wonderful bonding experience and is no different wherever in the world you are.
“On the day I was delighted by the response from the whole College, from those who came in national dress, made or brought food from their home countries and were keen to show us a taste of their home – literally. The Domestic Bursary staff were very keen participants; the chefs loved making the recipes suggested by the students, while others baked and cooked and shared with everyone. It really demonstrated the breadth of our diversity; what is more, it demonstrated better than anything I have yet seen here, the warm, inclusive nature of our community. It was great fun; let’s do it again…”
Carlos Gonzalez Perez, MCR Int Student Rep, adds, “Thank you for this lovely initiative. From the MCR perspective, we believe it was an absolute success. Obviously, there is always room for improvement, but all attendees were extremely satisfied with the event. In particular, let me emphasize the quality and novelty of the food, as well as the involvement of staff, who did a wonderful job from start to finish. I further believe this event was an example of great collaboration across MCR, JCR, College and staff towards building a sense of community in Univ. Looking forward to next year’s.”
We hope you enjoy this gallery of images from our wonderfully colourful and diverse day: