Diwali, better known as the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu festival which was observed on November 3rd this year. One of the common traditions performed on this interesting day is the lighting of small clay lamps that signify the power of good over evil. The lamps that are lit stay on the entire night and generally those that celebrate this holiday clean their houses in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. On Diwali day, many people visit their families and perform rituals together while having a wholesome meal.
This year for Diwali, I had the pleasure of attending Gujarati Cultural Association of the Golden Triangle’s annual Diwali Dinner. The evening was filled with laughter, good food and amazing Indian dance performances. This event was organized through Laurier International and everyone who was interested in attending was asked to meet on campus so that we would be able to commute to RIM Park (the place where it was held) together. Some of us dressed up in traditional clothes while others dressed in formal attire for the occasion. As soon as we got there, we were treated to mouth- watering appetizers and got the opportunity to watch different dance performances by all age groups. These dances ranged from classical to modern day dances and were extremely entertaining for everyone to watch.
We were placed at a table with all those that went with Laurier International and some others who were there to celebrate the day as well. After some of the performances, we were served dinner which included a variety of Indian specialties (dishes and desserts). This delicious dinner left everyone content. After this, there was a chance for everyone else to join in the dancing with some of the most popular Indian music. To wrap the night up, we had the opportunity to take professional pictures with the group if we chose to. All in all, it was a great night!
Until next time,
My name is Erempagamo Ben-Abali, but just call me Ere. Guess what? You now have a voice from the Brantford campus and I’m excited to give you some insights into what the Brantford campus feels like.
I’m from Nigeria (West Africa). I’m in my 2nd year in the Business Technology Management co-op program. I came to Canada about 3 years ago. I was so excited to come to Canada and in no time I adapted to the environment and changes. I’m used to being away from home so I guess it was easy for me. I choose Laurier’s Brantford campus because of its small campus, class sizes and community. When I first arrived at Laurier I always kept to myself and ended up going a semester without friends but that quickly changed. The next semester I came out of my shell and joined different clubs, volunteered, participated in community activities, etc., and now I can proudly say it was worth it.
I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, adventure, laughter and being around friends and family. I love dogs and cats. I love learning about other cultures. I’m usually at the international student lounge if you want to stop by. I hope that my blog posts will make you more excited about the Brantford campus and Canada in general.
After a thrilling encounter in London, Ontario, Laurier Women’s soccer team defeated the Western Mustangs in penalty shootouts (3-1) to capture the OUA championship. With this victory, they have not only succeeded in upholding the integrity of the university, but they’ve also giving students yet another reason to be immensely proud of their institution.
Regardless of this victory, the team still has one more hurdle to jump. Starting on November 7th, they will begin their quest to capture yet another prestigious title: the CIS Championship. This would be the 4th year in a row that the team has qualified for the championship, and with the momentum from winning the OUA championship, fans and players alike might just think this may be their year.
Peace and Justice Students Association Conference (PJSA). As part of the PJSA conference, hip- hop artist Emmanuel Jal came to perform at the Turret in Laurier’s campus!
Jal has had a truly interesting life. Born in Sudan, Jal has experienced a violent life from early on. He was a child soldier in the Second Sudanese Civil War. He was eventually rescued by a British aid worker and lived a more stable life in Nairobi, Kenya. Jal is now a rap/ hip hop artist, with many of his songs relating to his own harsh experiences. Many of his songs are about unity in the world and humanitarian help for those who needed it. As a community, I believe we are truly privileged to have a man with an amazing story like this come and tell us about his experiences. Jal’s life teaches one lesson- no matter where you are from, you can always make a difference.
About the PJSA
The PJSA is the North American Affiliate of the International Peace Research Association. The annual PJSA conference is hosted in Canada every three years. For further information, visit www.peacejusticestudies.org.
One of the most celebrated holidays in Canada is Thanksgiving. It is about a time where families and friends get together and give thanks. This holiday usually includes a delicious homemade thanksgiving dinner including turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and salad. At this beautiful time of year, just as the leaves are changing color for the fall, many students trek their way home to celebrate the long weekend with their families. For international and foreign exchange students, Laurier International hosts their lovely annual thanksgiving dinner which aims to have students celebrate the holiday with their friends.
This year, I had the pleasure of attending this marvelous dinner. Some of the highlights included a raffle that students were greeted with at the beginning of the event (prizes included a backpack, bathroom set, towel set, laundry hamper etc), a great speech given at the start of the dinner, and obviously the incredible food that was served to us later in the evening. For those with dietary restrictions, the staff was able to provide them with a meal that suited their dietary restrictions. Students and faculty were able to interact with one another before and after the meal and raffle prizes were announced ever so often during the evening.
After everyone finished their mouth-watering meals, we were greeted with impeccable pumpkin pie for dessert! Overall the evening went very smoothly, and if anyone was to ask any of the attendees of the event, they would be reassured of how much fun the evening really was! This event has been going on for a few years and every year it just keeps getting more and more successful!
Until next time,
Laurier’s Model United Nations team recently embarked on a long 10 hour journey to the prestigious Yale University in USA, honoring an exclusive invitation from the annual Model UN conference. The conference started on the 10th of October and went on until the 14th of October. In attendance, were several universities of varying prestige, including Harvard, Columbia, University of Toronto, McGill, and many more. The Laurier delegates did particularly well, and showed great valor in representing not only our university, but Canada as a whole. At the conference, many current and contentious issues were debated, including the highly controversial topics of the decline of the Catholic Church, and military intervention in Syria.
As an attendee at the conference, the most memorable part for me was the speech given by the key note speaker – Mohamed Elfayoumi. He was an Egyptian diplomat to Syria during the 2011 Civil War, and was responsible for evacuating many innocent civilians. He spoke greatly about the political uprisings in Egypt as well as Syria, and his views on how peace can be achieved.
So far, my experience with the Laurier Model UN club shows, without a reasonable doubt, the standards of education in Laurier, showing our ability to compete with the so called Ivey League Universities. At this point, it is obvious that I had a splendid time at the conference; it has given me the chance to not only do what I love – in the form of debating – but also meet new people from different schools and cultural backgrounds with varying ideologies. For these reasons, I will always strive to remain a part of the club.
Many have heard about the Rubik’s cube, some have seen it or even tried to solve it. One thing is certain, no one is able to solve the cube with as much swagger and speed as Eric Limeback, a third year student at Laurier. He recently broke a previous Guinness World Record by solving the Rubik’s cube 5,800 times in a span of 24 hours. To accomplish this, he solved 1 cube at an average time of 14 seconds (it would probably take me 24 hours to solve one cube).
Limeback achieved this historic accomplishment right here in Laurier’s Waterloo campus. This talented individual has also broken eight Canadian Records, the most impressive one being solving the cube in 38 seconds- blindfolded. With talent like this, Eric Limeback has given the Laurier community yet another reason to be proud of their institution.
One thing about myself- I love tennis! Weather I am watching it or playing it, I enjoy tennis! Among other sports, I also like football (soccer) and cricket as well! As a politics student, I also have a lot of interest in current affairs and I love to debate politics as well.
I remember 1 year ago, all the emotions I faced when I was leaving home to come to Canada. I am sure any international student must be excited and nervous at the same time- I know I was. So, as an international student, I would be happy to help you and share my experiences. I am really excited to be a part of this blog and will post anything interesting to give you guys a glimpse of life here at Laurier!
Firstly, I just wanted to introduce myself. I moved to Canada from Curaçao (a tiny island in the Caribbean just off the coast of Venezuela) about three years ago to pursue further education. One of the factors that enticed me into choosing Laurier was the smaller campus size since I figured being able to adjust to a smaller rather than larger campus would be easiest for me. Before moving here, I was nervous to be coming to an unknown place especially alone but once I settled in, I was certain that I chose the right place for myself to spend the next four years. When walking through campus, I can honestly say that it feels just like home in that you know most of the people passing by. In fact, I don’t think there has been a time where I have walked through campus and not recognized anyone!
I enjoy travelling very much and have been to many different countries around the world as a result of this passion. I am in the International Business concentration which has a trip component to it at the end of the year. I am truly thrilled to be taking part in this opportunity as it will enable me to experience more countries than I have already. Additionally, I love to read different novels and keep up with all the current news from around the world as I find it to be rather fascinating.
I look forward to being able to share all my experiences here at Laurier and hope that you enjoy reading all my posts!
Earlier in the year, Deviana, one of our previous International Ambassadors, described the largely North American tradition of homecoming. In a nutshell, she outlined that Homecoming is the annual celebration designed to welcome alumni back to their Alma Mater. It includes tons of tours, receptions, parties, and of course, the main event: the football game. To clear up any misunderstandings, by football, I really mean American football, which is very much like rugby, with a twist. On paper, homecoming seems to be specifically for Alumni, however, in reality, it is the students that brighten up the day. Most of them dress up in the school colors – purple and gold. Some dye their hair, while others paint their faces. By the time the day gets rolling, it becomes clear that these students (usually dressed in mufti) have collectively formed some sort of purple and gold army, taking over the town in the process.
This year, Laurier paid host to the University of Windsor, and although Laurier’s gallant football team lost the game, it was a memorable experience. The atmosphere was unquestionably sensational: everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender orientation, played a role in supporting the team by tirelessly singing Laurier chants. It provided alumni with the right circumstances to rekindle old friendships, while also allowing current students with the opportunity meet equally enthusiastic school mates. At the end of the day, most of the people who participated in the homecoming festivities would have been suffering from voice loss and exhaustion. But not in vain, because they now have the ability to say that they were a part of a truly phenomenal experience.
To those of you reading who are already students at Laurier, I hope you were able to attend this year’s homecoming; to those of you who are hoping to come Laurier next year, I highly suggest you mark your calendar and be on the lookout for the ticket-release date.