Ital Boganova may not have won the top prize at Humber’s International Education Week photo and video showcase, but the third-place entry of her cooking Syrniki, a traditional Russian dish similar to a cheese pancake, with her family was still meaningful.
“Basically, food is what allows us to be in touch with our culture,” Boganova said. “So that’s just our tradition for breakfast every weekend.”
Humber has organized events for International Education Week since 2000 to introduce students to the culture and backgrounds of international communities at the college. And with almost 100 students participating, the event celebrates architecture, dance, culture, food, and the notion of home.
Normally, students have the opportunity to try traditional food and see art performances surrounded by their peers. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything was online during the week of Nov. 23 and students could attend online meetings covering themes related to global experience.
The main event was the photo and video contest and presentations, capturing both the routines of life elsewhere and extraordinary events.
Michael Johnson-Figueredo won the event, depicting life on the streets of his home in Havana, Cuba.
Other winners announced Nov. 27 were Jazel Dela Paz, who won first place in the “Art of Everyday” video category with a chronicle of her trip home to the Philippines at Christmas, and Daniela Medeiros, who won with her song about Brazil in the “Performance of Art” video category.
The family of Tanzila Patel, a Bachelor of Journalism student at Humber, is of Indian origin, but later her family moved to Saudi Arabia. Her work for the competition was about the centuries-old buildings in Jeddah.
“Before it was a monarchy, there used to be a very certain type of architecture,” she said about masterpieces now protected by heritage laws.
Ayushi Thakur, a Global Business Management student and another participant, might be pursuing a career in business but finds her passion in photography.
She was freelancing at an event when she captured a wonderful dance, called Nataraja, by noted performers and sisters Yamini and Bhavana Reddy.
“Every dance in Indian culture has a meaning and tells a story,” Thakur said.
“Nataraja is about Lord Shiva,” she said. “And the way he was trying to be projected — is a very majestic God.
“This photo has a lot of emotions, beautiful expression of life, photography, a lot of light, the whole concept of the show and the proper expression of the jewelry,” Thakur said. “And it really represents India, the whole culture.”
Since early childhood, she has learned traditions and culture through art, and it has shaped the way she looks at the world. Even in the business program, Thakur tries to bring creativity and individuality to bear.
“I’ve done four years Indian classical dance,” she said. “And my background is related to my family, is into theatre, dancing, acting. So I’ve had the opportunity to witness all these things while I was a kid.”