On the 19th of March, Peter Symonds College hosted their 2024 Culture Day, organised primarily by the EDI department. This event gave the diverse student body the opportunity to display their heritages, and invite others to experience them too.


Walking into Mercer’s Sports Hall felt like being transported- one minute you were standing, slightly soggy, in the grey of the British drizzle, the next you were in a brightly coloured room, surrounded by fanciful fabrics, stalls with enticing and delicious dishes and music swirling around you.


Students from all across the world were eager to showcase their customs, from Hong Kong, India, Nigeria, and more. Some Greek students eagerly led me through the feast of their traditional dishes laid out on their stall, laden with sweet and savoury delicacies alike. “It’s really important that we’re able to share our heritage, which is why we didn’t put prices on our food- not because we didn’t know how to!”, one of them stated with a smile.


Food and drink from a plethora of countries was available to sample, as well as various activities like traditional African beaded crafts and henna. A fashion show at break allowed students to display their traditional dress- bright smiles, billowing skirts, and vivid flags paraded across the hall, accompanied by traditional music from people’s respective countries.


One o’clock brought an influx of visitors to the event, as well as an increase in energy. The arriving crowds tucked into the available treats, awaiting the highlight of the day: a dance and culture showcase. Met with raucous cheering from the throng of people, dancers from various cultures performed intricate routines from their native countries, beaming at the delightful reception of something so dear to them.


All in all, it was a delight to see this celebration of diversity in the college community, especially as someone from a less-represented culture. Everyone took part and cheered for the others, and, as one student said, clad in swaths of brightly coloured fabric and delicate jewellery, “It simply brings people together”.