International Days Showcase: Kamloops

International Days 1

Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.

A Belizean student strides by.
A Belizean student strides by.

What made this event so popular? Well it’s a campus-wide event where everyone can contribute and the students have a chance to learn about themselves and others. With a campus hosting around 1,600 international students from 78 different countries there is a spectrum of cultural backgrounds to share at TRU.

Mexican Booth Trinkets
Mexican Booth Trinkets.

My promotional spiel for TRU aside, I’ve found in my humble travels that international festivals are a great place to break into exploring other cultural events. Arriving at TRU a somewhat timid soul, the International Days festival broke the ice for me. When I attended last year I discovered so many other students in attendance and witnessed people of numerous nationalities. Unlike Lohri and the Robbie Burns Supper, where only a small portion of the partygoers was not familiar with the festivals, at this event I was a curious, naive individual among a throng of others. So if you want to break into the ethnic scene these collective festivals are great as windows into each national culture (and even regional ones as you soon discover).

Bangladesh Booth
Bangladesh dolls modelling traditional clothes. Front doll is modelling a lungi.

All the entrants of the International Days Showcase were students or did what they showcased as a hobby. You couldn’t have guessed that from their performances though. Each put everything into their little piece of the show. Whenever I think back to the event no single event stands out, simply because they were all so amazing. Here, I’ll let my photos take you through their performances. Enjoy. I sure did.

Canadian First Nations Drumming Circle

First Nations Drummer
These men were asked to welcome everyone.

Indian Dance

An Indian dancer captivates the crowd with her energetic moves.
An Indian dancer captivates the crowd with her energetic moves.

Thai Fairy Dance

Thailand Dance 5
These women had such calm faces.
Thailand Dance 9
Their hands gracefully arched through the air, their fingers subtly telling a story.
Thailand Dance 7
The ear pieces they wore were dazzling in the stage light.

Hello Vietnam Song

Vietnam Song
The two women, one from Vietnam and the other a visitor of the country, shared a moment.

African Modern Dance & Video

This modern dance had the participants really moving, with hip thrusts, bumps and spins
This modern dance had the participants really moving, with hip thrusts, bumps and spins.

Thai Kickboxing Dance

He rises from kneeling and begins to warm up
He rises from kneeling and begins to warm up.
Though he began slowly, this individual soon moved to quicker jabs and kicks
Though he began slowly, this individual soon moved to quicker jabs and kicks.

Indian Classical Song

The song was for Krishna an Indian deity
The song was for Krishna an Indian deity.

Russian Waltz

He told the audience that the song is about longing for home
He told the audience that the song is about longing for home.

Caribbean Dance

Belize Dancer 2
Her dance was about seeking cultural freedom.

Belize Dancer 4

Chinese Moving Boys Dance & Video

These guys said their dance style is called popping
These guys said their dance style is called popping.

China Dancers 9

China Dancers 1
Their dance steps reminded me of dubstep dancers who use similar slow-motion gravity-defying movements.

Hindi Song

Again, he sang in another language, but I could here the emotion
He sang in another language, but I could hear the emotion.

Cumbia Dance & Video

In this dance these women were being harassed by a young man
In this dance these women were being harassed by a young man.
Colombia Dancers 5
I always love taking pictures of these dancers because of their flowing skirts.

Colombia Dancers 7

Zimbabwe Harmonica and Singing & Video

Zimbabwe Singer 2
This fellow sang a song of welcome and happiness.

Korean Song

Korean Singer
These singers not only communicated with their voices, but also with their bodies.

Chile Dance

During the show I actually had no idea what she was doing with the string, but it turns out she was performing a kai-kai or string figure.
During the show I actually had no idea what she was doing with the string, but it turns out she was performing a kai-kai or string figure.
This dancer performed a traditional dance for ancestral spirits
Her traditional dance was for ancestral spirits.

Kai Kai Dancer 3

This is where my first SD card ran out of room, so I’ll stop and start another post so you readers aren’t overwhelmed.

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