Thousands of students, staff and other visitors attended the inaugural Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University International Day Festival on October 20 to enjoy the integration of Chinese and international cultures on the University’s open campus.

Professor Qiuling Chao, vice president of student affairs and information at XJTLU, officially launched the Festival, introducing the audience to the philosophy behind the event.

“One of XJTLU’s unique features is its open campus – this design is a representation of our University’s vision to foster an open, innovative learning environment for all,” Professor Chao said.

“Today’s International Day Festival is another symbol of our openness. We sincerely welcome you to our campus to experience the sights, sounds, tastes and sense of community we have here at XJTLU.”

The Festival offered visitors a range of activities and entertainment including a traditional Chinese lion dance, arts and crafts market, and street performances. A range of international cuisines were also available, providing a taste of different cultures from around the world in one central location.

Yubing Jin, a Year Two student from Communication Studies, said the event highlighted XJTLU’s strong cultural inclusiveness as an international university.

“The participants here come from all walks of life – all kinds of cultures mix together, and coexist in harmony,” Jin said.

“The Chinese and international performances really demonstrate that art has no borders, and cultures of all countries have similarities.”

Sergio Chavez, a Year Four exchange student studying Biological Sciences, said he enjoyed the International Day Festival.“We can interact with people from different countries and experience different cultural customs, which has special significance in cultural exchange,” he said.

Interactive salsa performances and a large-scale graffiti canvas gave visitors the chance to join in the cultural experience rather than just be spectators.

Dr Xin Bi, deputy director of the Centre for Knowledge and Information at XJTLU – the Centre which organised the event – noted that XJTLU plays an important role in Suzhou’s international community, with students and faculty from 96 countries.

“Suzhou is a modern, global city. The 2019 XJTLU International Day Festival provides an opportunity for local residents here to experience cross-cultural exchanges, and helps deepen interactions and collaboration between universities, local communities, and the wider world,” he said.

By Yuanxin Yang, edited by Rosanna Galvin

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