Sunday, March 16, 2014

Global Day 2014 @ AUS

Global Day continues to be one of my favorite things about living here. It's an annual two-day festival celebrating all the different cultures and nationalities at the American University of Sharjah. Each country (mainly through the respective cultural club) designs a pavilion and then stocks it with activities, decorations, and friendly people wanting to teach others about the culture. Some of the pavilions sell trinkets, clothes, or treats from home, and many of them offer henna (to the girls' delight). Global Day 2014 was especially stellar, not least because I finally remembered to pick up some US-themed apparel when I was there this summer.

Heading out. The thing about being American here is, you can't really go all-out with national pride. So Jeremy left the flag bandana and affected swagger at home.

A Bahraini well.

 A Yemeni cityscape.

Some Iraqi...I do not know what these are. (A quick Google search just told me it's the Martyr Monument.)


 Tunisia! This girl is our next-door neighbor.

Morocco! Those divans in the background are to die for.

I remembered Palestine's pavilion being a cheery thing in years past - all Dome of the Rock and painting activities for kids. This year, it was: THE WALL.
I was kind of shocked they went so edgy. Then I talked to a neighbor and she said they had a similar theme last year, complete with a checkpoint staffed by a faux-soldier holding a faux-gun, so I must have missed that.

 Emirati girls dancing.

Musicians and magicians in India.

For the first time ever (in my admittedly imperfect memory), there was a USA pavilion! Wow. There was a red carpet and photos of Vegas and maybe the Statue of Liberty? I can't remember.


Oh yeah, it rained. Global Day is two days out of 365 and it rained on both of them.

There were many more pavilions, obviously, and I was struck by how ripped-from-the-headlines these countries are. Over here, you have a nation invading the Crimea. There, an Emirati policeman was killed in an explosion. This country is embroiled in civil war. This one is under military rule. This one is doing just fine, thank you. Such a range of emotions and opinions to be had.

Happy Global Day 2014!


Kathy Haynie said...

I love all the pictures of the different booths. I was fascinated thinking about how the cultural clubs pulled the various paraphernalia together - how did the Iraquis make that blue monument? It sure wasn't made from a sheet of plywood. (Chicken wire & paper maché? I think not.) Anyway, as I was enjoying the photos and the captions and your darling girls, I too kept thinking about the variety of situations back home. (No war/hunger at the Somalia booth? No invasion theme for Russia?) Good for the Palestinians for putting it out there…I guess…that's my opinion from the safe distance across the ocean. Not sure how it resonates so much closer to home.

Liz Johnson said...

Connor is having International Day on Wednesday, and I'm gonna go ahead and guess that there will be MUCH less political drama. And not a ton of awesome exhibits/displays like that. Lots of food, yes, but I can't imagine a bunch of first-graders talking about Israeli occupation or the Crimean invasion.

Susanne said...

Haha...I rather like Jeremy's swagger. :)

Looks so fun!

Bridget said...

Yes, these are not your sloppy homemade student projects! They do a very good job and I think many of them enlist the help of professionals or semi-professionals.

Cait said...

That is so cool! We have international day at our local elementary school this week. There are a huge range of nationalities because of living in student housing with 75% international student population (and of the Americans, all are Mormon). I am excited to go. I'm betting there will be no walls.


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