Students performing Dabkeh during the event
Students at the Abu Dhabi University (ADU) celebrated their annual Global Day through performances that promoted a message of tolerance and multi-cultural harmony, as well as respect for cultures, languages and peoples different from their own. The event was held on the 8th and 10th of May at the university’s Khalifa City campus in Abu Dhabi.
As part of the Global Day celebration on the 8th of May, female students from ADU reenacted wedding ceremonies from different parts of the world, depicting the various valued traditions and customs from different cultures. The students demonstrated the fundamental similarity between the ceremonies, while also celebrating the unique aspects of each ceremony. The reenactments included vibrant colors, traditional dances, and bejeweled ethnic-wear.
Traditional Emirati dances took centre-stage at the global event, as female dancers performed, dressed gracefully in traditional floor-length gowns called ‘jalabeyah’. Male dancers performed the Middle Eastern dance ‘Dabke’, which involves timed foot movements, tap dancing and a high level of stamina. Lastly, girls from the Desi Club performed a ‘mehendi’ ceremony, during which South Asian brides’ hands and feet were decorated prior to the ceremony with elaborate henna patterns and bridesmaids and elderly women sang folk songs.
Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, ADU Chancellor said, “As an institution that enjoys a vibrant, multi-cultural community of students and staff, ADU prides itself on its diversity, its openness and the respect it holds for people from differ cultural backdrops.”
Global Day celebrations continued on the 10th of May, with VIPs in attendance from the Embassies of Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Germany and other countries. The entertainment program was hosted by Radio Jockey Rania Younes of Star FM, and Saeed Al Maamari from Abu Dhabi TV. Students extended a warm welcome to the dignitaries as they marched into the auditorium, bearing flags from more than 20 countries.
Young Emirati men performed the ‘yola’ dance with guns and canes, while representatives of Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon showed their ‘Dabke’ skills with unique accessories including swords, drums, fashionable and national outfits. The gentlemen boasted their dance skills as the audience cheered them on, applauding their dazzling display.
Short videos depicting life in countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan and other countries were greeted warmly by intrigued audiences. The videos displayed the cultures, traditions, foods, festivals and people of all these countries, which are among the world’s top destinations for holiday-goers.
Entertainment stalls were set up outdoors, at the main and side entrances of the campus. Students sold souvenirs from different destinations around the world and promoted multi-cultural harmony.