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Students celebrate diversity at ‘magnificent’ end of term cultural events

Cultural Fashion show at New City College

Culture Days and Fashion Shows to celebrate how inclusive and multicultural New City College is, were enjoyed by staff and students at the end of term.

Held at Tower Hamlets campus and Redbridge campus, the two events went down a storm with students and staff who embraced the chance to showcase colourful traditional clothes and bring the best of their culture to college.

Organised by the Students’ Union and Enrichment Teams, the special days were described as “magnificent” by Tower Hamlets Deputy Principal Jorge Castillo-Rodriguez and Redbridge Deputy Principal Jacqueline Mitchell.

The Fashion Show was hosted by Redbridge Student Union Officers Marwa Mohsin and Dua Lodhi.  Students were invited to show off their cultural outfits on a ‘catwalk’ with several countries represented, including Senegal, Algeria, Afghanistan, Gambia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Trinidad and Tobago.

While each student paraded in their garments, the audience got to learn more about the different countries as the hosts read a description of the outfits and displayed a slide show of popular attractions in the background.

Staff and students were in awe of the colourful and stunning outfits and danced along as music from the different cultures was played.

Performing Arts student Minaal Meer hosted the second part of the event where she asked each student what made them proud of their country. Some staff and students said they got emotional as students expressed their passion and patriotism during the Q&A.

Deputy Principal Jacqueline Mitchell, Senior Curriculum Manager Russell Hasnat and Student Union President Vijai Chutto, judged the event and chose winners based on outfits, Q&A, stage presence and crowd response.

Crowd favourites Benafsha Ahmadi and Raza Khan, from ESOL 16 – 18, who represented Afghanistan, emerged as the fashion show winners.

Benafsha told the audience: “Afghanistan, which you see now as an uncivilised war-torn country, was not in this state before. My country went through four decades of bloodshed and war that we didn’t want. I am proud of my country because it can still export the best fruits in the world and handmade carpets and rugs.”

Other winners were Performing Arts students Tahera Ferdous Akhtar (Bangladesh) and Al-Kouther Maana (Algeria), who both won first runner-up prizes and Tyrell Thompson (Trinidad and Tobago), who won second runner-up.

Deputy Principal Jacqueline Mitchell said: “The cultural fashion show was a fantastic event that celebrated the rich and diverse culture of our students. All the participants wore clothes that represented their culture and expressed, with great pride, what they love about it!”

Mitus Castillo, Senior Coordinator for Personal Development and Welfare said: “Congratulations to the Student Union for organising such a successful event. The Enrichment Team is always eager to support events like these, where everyone was so engaged and had so much fun! It was brilliant to see so many students from diverse cultures learning from each other and embracing their differences!

“A big well done to the candidates who made great efforts – from attending the rehearsals, practising their catwalk and dressing up for the event – they were all winners!”

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