International Week to celebrate different regions, cultures

From left: COISO’s treasurer, Vjera Radovic, president, Diya Dharmendran and vice president, Saloni Radadia. Photo: Jenny Hudak/University of Miami
By Jenny Hudak

From left: COISO’s treasurer, Vjera Radovic, president, Diya Dharmendran and vice president, Saloni Radadia. Photo: Jenny Hudak/University of Miami

International Week to celebrate different regions, cultures

By Jenny Hudak
In a period dedicated to celebrating culture and diversity, the Council of International Students and Organizations’ International Week will host engaging events to educate and unite the University community.

Starting Monday, March 28, the Council of International Students and Organizations’ (COISO) International Week will illuminate the diverse campus culture at the University of Miami.

Split into five days, the week’s events highlight different cultures and regions that are represented throughout the student population. The weeklong celebration begins with a vibrant opening ceremony on the Lakeside Patio on Monday evening.

“Each day we celebrate a different region of the world,” said Diya Dharmendran, a senior studying psychology and president of COISO, who led the council’s planning of the events. “Our goal is ultimately to create a fun environment to create awareness about all of these cultures that are on campus and represented by international students.”

The theme of the week, “Navigating Our World,” draws from the students' experiences traversing a new normal following the strict COVID-19 pandemic protocols. The executive board’s goal is to reunite campus communities through food, dance, and culture as they continue to deal with the ever-present challenges of the world.

“We were all feeling very remote living apart [during the quarantine],” said Saloni Radadia, a junior studying finance and vice president of COISO. “The goal of our theme ‘Navigating Our World’ was to use this week to bring us all back together after navigating all challenges, and to navigate these world regions by celebrating these cultures together again.”

Each night of the week highlights a different region: Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. The events include tents with interactive games to engage the community in dialogues about these regions’ various cultures and traditions. Attendees can also indulge in unique meals from each area.

Following the food and interactive events, dance performances from student groups representing each of the evening’s highlighted areas will take place on the Lakeside Patio stage.

“We have a lot of student performances this year. It will be beautiful to see our peers showcasing their culture,” Dharmendran said. The goal of the week, she added, is to educate students about the various cultures of the University’s vibrant student body.

“Even if one student from a small country can come to our event, talk about it, and teach the community about their culture, I think it’s a big deal for that international student and others to create awareness and feel celebrated.” 

Events will take place at 6 p.m. on the Lakeside Patio each of the five evenings. They are free and open to all.

March 28: Opening Ceremonies

March 29: Latin American and Caribbean Night

March 30: Africa Night

March 31: Middle East and Europe Night

April 1: Asia Night 

Get more information on the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO).