Sounds and colours from round the world light up the University of Portsmouth in global culture day

International students brought Bollywood dancing and South Korean K-pop to Portsmouth last night, as the University's Festival of Cultures drew a crowd twice as large as last year.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:20 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:26 am
Mosises Frias, VP of student activities, in Dominican Republic carnival costume

More than 800 people visited visited the festival in Spinnaker Sports Club, where  Arabian coffee, Ghanaian shea butter, and Malaysian badnung - a pink milk drink - was on offer. Last year more than 430 people attended the event, with high demand leading to a larger venue being used this year. 

Alana Holland, International Student Advice Manager at the university, said: 'The world is a lot more globally connected - students are not so bothered by national boundaries.

'The festival has grown year on year - people want to experience something a little different. 

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Mosises Frias, VP of student activities, in Dominican Republic carnival costume

'We have international students coming here and home students studying abroad, but not everyone is going to have that experience - this is a way for people to dip their toe into a different culture.'

Home and international students put on an evening of performances from around the world, including traditional Malaysian dancing and a Ghanaian fashion show. 

Mosises Frias, Vice President of Student Activities, said: 'No matter what happens in Brexit, the UK is a good destination for students, so students won't stop coming here. 

'Portsmouth is a welcoming place - you have such an international crowd here, you feel like you're part of a big family.' 

Students from the Malaysian society Picture: Richard Lemmer

International students and staff at the university come from more than 140 different nations around the world. 

Narjes Khalid, a second year Environmental Science student from Bahrain, said coming to Portsmouth was 'one of the best experiences (she) had ever had.'

She said: 'I don't regret a thing coming here. Everyone is very open and welcoming. 

'We're a multicultural society, even if some people don't want to admit it. The majority of people are are very open.'

Students from the Bahrain society Picture: Richard Lemmer

The festival is part of the university's Global Week, an annual celebration of cultures from around the world. Events include Global Karaoke featuring songs from around the world this Friday, and a performance by the University of Portsmouth Choir at St John's Cathedral this Saturday. 

Malaysian students performing traditional Malaysian dance