DCCC International Education Committee Celebrates International Cultures with ‘Living Local – Thinking Global’ Event

Zinzi Gwala, South Africa

March 22, 2013 – Brightly colored traditional clothing, baked goods, artifacts, photos, instrumental music and more from foreign countries recently filled the Brinkley Gym on the Davidson County Community College campus. It’s not something you ordinarily see on campus every day, but it was all part of a unique event, the “Living Local – Thinking Global International Celebration.” The celebration, which hosted nearly 400 participants, has become an annual event; the first was held in 2006 as “International Night.” 

The celebration, hosted by the International Education Committee at DCCC, invited students, faculty, staff and community members to experience and celebrate cultures from around the world.

International students participated in the event as well, such as DCCC student Zinzi Gwala, of South Africa, who says the celebration had a personal meaning for her.

Costa Rica

“It goes to show that there are people in America who are interested in other countries and care about other cultures,” says Gwala, who is studying at DCCC as part of the Community Colleges for International Development.

Other students, such as Bo Murphy, took interest in the celebration because of personal connections. Murphy, who is studying global logistics, was excited by the Cambodia exhibit, hosted

by native Cambodians Ing Hao and Savin Rik who are both students in English as a second language classes at DCCC.

“I’m really interested in Cambodian culture because I have friends from high school who were from Cambodia and attend a local temple,” Murphy says.

In addition to South Africa and Cambodia, countries featured in the celebration included Albania, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, England, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Tanzania and Venezuela.

Each country featured authentic items and artifacts, including authentic food, the country’s flag, and demographic information, such as where each country is located, the language, industry, culture and more.

“This event was a great way to allow both the college and surrounding community to explore other cultures,” says Carolyn Davis, coordinator of International Student Activities. “Our

students put in a lot of time and research in learning and discovering other countries. This celebration served as a prime opportunity not only to share the things they’ve learned, but also to allow the community to gain knowledge about the world around us.”

Parade of Nations

*Editor’s Note: Pictured in the first photo is Zinzi Gwala, an international student from South Africa, who displayed information about her home country.

Pictured in the second photo are Dayana Rivera-Navarro and Wendy Rodriguez-Cambronero, who displayed information about Costa Rica – including traditional dress.

In the third photo are participants of the Living Local – Thinking Global event following a parade of nations, where they walked around campus displaying flags and costumes of the many countries featured at the event. 

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.