Students Travel “Abroad” with ALANA’s World Tour Series

 

 

Larry Singer

The African, Latin, Asian and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center, the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE), the Upstate Institute and several other cultural clubs on campus have come together to host a World Tour Series throughout the month of February. The series, which is largely comprised of presentations and lectures, focuses on a variety of cultures and traditions that Colgate students identify with.

Sophomore Tiantong Yu, one of 12 ALANA student interns, decided to develop this series as his ambassador project for ALANA. Yu, who also taught a class on China for the Upstate Institute, recognized the potential of coordinating the efforts of ALANA and the Upstate Institute in order to spread cultural awareness. He was also able to reach out to Colgate’s international student community and various cultural clubs by giving them the opportunity to help with the presentations.

The objective of Yu’s project is to get various communities on campus, as well as the local Hamilton community, interested in foreign cultures. The World Tour Series specifically focuses on international travel and the experiences people have living in different countries. Through a series of well-attended, two-hour lectures and presentations, students have been able to share information about their cultural experiences.

The presenters include international students whose countries of origin are being discussed, as well as students who studied abroad in those countries. The Series provides a forum for these students to discuss the time they spent immersed in a different culture. The cultural presentations also allow all Colgate students to become accustomed to a culture with which they are unfamiliar.

Last week, for instance, the cultural theme was Japan. Students explored the cultural significance of tea in Japan by participating in a Japanese tea ceremony. Other topics included tourist attractions in Japan as well as other aspects of Japanese culture.