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Selkirk College’s Castlegar Campus Hosts World Showcase

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
December 7th, 2014

It was a coming together of cultures in late-November on the Castlegar Campus as Selkirk College hosted its annual Intercultural Fair.

Hundreds of students, staff and special guests gathered in The Pit on November 20 to take in the sights, sounds, tastes and trivia of the many different cultures represented at Selkirk College.

Hosted by Selkirk International, the two hour lunchtime event featured food from around the world, colourful dance, demonstrations and interactive games.

“A day like this is important because we get an opportunity to meet the other students and find out more about their culture,” said Gurpreet Kaur, a student from India who is taking the advanced diploma in Nursing Gerontology.

“It’s also important to show the Canadian students our culture, it’s helpful for others to see what kind food we eat and what kind of dress we have.”

Kaur arrived to Castlegar in March to start the two-year program.

“I was planning for an education in Canada and I searched it on Google,” she said.

“I found Selkirk College and saw that they were starting this program for the first time. It looked like a nice program and a nice place. I am a nurse graduate in India and have already worked one year in a clinical setting, so this is my post-graduation study. My main focus is to get an international education.”

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a colourful and energetic dance performance by 20-year-old Japanese student Yu Matsuoka.

“The dance is called Yosakoi,” said Matsuoka, who is in taking the English as a Secondary Language Program.

“I started dancing one and a half years ago. I’m very happy to preform it today because I wanted to spread my dance because it is an important part of Japanese culture.”

Matsuoka has been taking in as much Canadian culture as possible over the last three months and said it was nice to share a little of her culture and explore others at the same time.

“It’s important because I don’t have class with Indian students,” she said. “Today I had an opportunity to see the Indian culture. It’s also important to talk to the many Canadian students too.”

Both students agreed that Selkirk College has been a great place to learn and get a better understanding of Canada.

“It’s a very nice place,” said Kaur.

“I have many friends in Saskatchewan and Ontario who are doing the same thing and they tell me about problems they face. We face nothing here, it’s a blessing to be part of Selkirk College. The teachers are awesome… I used to have my favourite teacher in India and now I can say I have changed that.”

Find out more about Selkirk International at

PHOTO CUTLINE: Selkirk College international students brought their cultures to The Pit at the Castlegar Campus for a day of sharing.

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