Culture does matter at UWEC
UWEC witnessed a show full of cultures from different nationalities on the first UW-Eau Claire’s annual Asian Night a couple of weeks ago. It was a night full of cultural performances, traditional clothing, and delightful cuisines. Countries such as Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia are just some of the few countries that participated in the event.
“I would like to thank you all, who were eager to show their culture and tradition to people to raise awareness about beautiful cultures in the world,” said Asya Thani, a second semester Political Science major student from United Arab Emirates. It’s always been motivating to see our campus has been increase in term of cultural diversity. The numbers of international students at UWEC for 2010/2011 are 215 while there are 744 multicultural students, according to the official UWEC homepage.
So what do the numbers tell us? Is it a good or a bad thing? Does it really matter?
The fact is 215 are just a shy two percent over the total annual students enrollment at UWEC. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be better. To have a diverse environment and cultural experience at UWEC can be beneficial to students at UWEC. It prepares us to face the world after our graduation, we live in a very diverse world and to have a knowledge and exposure about international cultures can help us prepare for what to expect in the future.
We never know when it will affect our lives, but I am confident that experiencing a different culture will give us life experience. Imagine you want to study abroad in Africa and you are concerned about the differences in culture that will trouble you while you are there. But let’s say you already have friends from Africa at UWEC, they will certainly be more than happy to explain their culture to you so that you will be prepared. Another example: let’s pretend after you graduate from a university with a major in international business, there is an opportunity to work overseas with a respectable salary. You certainly would not miss the chance. In order for you to work and live comfortably, you might want to adjust to the culture of the country that you’re working in.
Culture matters at UWEC because we can’t deny the beauty of the differences in people. There are many encouraging awareness campaigns about it being okay to have different sexual behavior, different religious beliefs, and even a different political party, so why not be culturally different?
It’s not all about international students, as there are many multicultural American students that should be proud for their differences. Hmong students celebrate their new year with joy, they wear their traditional clothes and walk on the street with their head held high. The Ojibwe people will held a Pow Wow contest at McPhee Physical Education Center on April 16.
“A pow-wow is an event that you must have first-hand experience with in order to gain a deeper understanding of cultural awareness,” according to UWEC News Releases.
Culture is something that we all should embrace together, not judge. A different culture is not always the easiest thing to understand. Sometimes it may seem odd to our eyes, but not to those who live with it. But unless we try to learn and experience it, we’ll never know what it can do for us. Differences are beautiful. Culture is beautiful.