On Friday 17 February 2017, over 450 new Trinity College Foundation Studies students came to a Brazilian Carnival themed welcome party.
The party was organised by the Multicultural and Multi-Faith Trinity Lifeskills Club (TLC), under the leadership of students: Isuru Jude Arundra Peries, Priyansh Parekh, Beatriz Da Costa Gotoda, Gabriela Da Costa Gotoda, Jo Ann Chan, Wai Ting Siaw (Sam), Zeen Luan (Arthur), Yee Ling Sim (Elaine), Kyaw Zaw Hein (Angelo) and Joon Hang.
The idea of a Welcome Party grew out of club discussions at the end of 2016. In discussing the many cultures and faiths represented in our diverse community at Trinity College, the club started speaking about hospitality. Hospitality, or sharing a warm welcome, is a practice shared by every culture and faith we could think of. Students spoke of the small ways we can share a warm welcome on campus, like saying hello to newcomers, asking questions to get to know another culture, smiling, holding open a door, and many more. The students then shared their hope to do something bigger, as a community. A party! Through these conversations, and our hope to regularly celebrate and share cultural and religious events, the club chose to combine the Welcome Party with the Brazilian Carnival.
The club invited two Brazilian students, Beatriz and Gabriela Da Costa Gotoda, to help in the planning of this event. Beatriz and Gabriela shared stories of Carnival, and the many ways it is celebrated in Brazil. In addition to planning great music with the DJ, the students planned face painting, a photo booth, costumes, and lots of confetti. They also decided to make one of the most traditional desserts Beatriz and Gabriela could recommend, brigadiero, which is similar to a chocolate caramel.
The students and staff who worked together to plan and host this party feel it was a joyful success. Many students learnt about and celebrated a new culture. Everyone who volunteered their time was given a task, and opportunity to connect with other students and staff. More than 600 people came to the party (150 volunteers, and more than 450 new students). Welcome was shared at the door, on the dance floor, making name tags, dancing the Macarena, and sitting in the back of the room for a dance break.
Photos of the event were captured by student Yufan Chen and the DJ company, Extreme DJs. All students and staff are welcome to join the Multicultural and Multi-Faith Club. Please be in touch with the Revd Lisa Saunders Ahuja firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, or for more information.