News

UN Day seeks to spread peace and unity

A sunny afternoon filled with dancers, international foods and a variety of music styles from more than 20 nations around the world celebrated United Nations Day on Oct. 24 at UM.

“This is a unique event because we have representation from every international and multicultural club on campus,” said Nikki Chun, vice president of COISO, the organization that organized and funded the UN Day activities on campus.

The “Road to Peace” was the theme for this year’s festivities.

International student organizations throughout UM took the opportunity to express their own views on peace as they shared their culture with others, according to organizers and participants.

“By promoting our culture, we promote peace through a sense of unity and understanding,” said Shawbong Fok, graduate member of the Asian Student Association.

According to Fok, the tea, tofu, decorations and calligraphy gave students a much-needed sampling of Asian culture.

“The percentage of Asians in the University is very low, and a lot of people don’t know much about Asia,” he said. “Without this event there would be no way for this sort of cultural discovery.”

Many organizations decided to call attention to the fact that there are many political conflicts occurring in their countries.

“A lot of people are suffering from radiation, and there has been destruction and contamination of ecosystems due to the military target practices,” said Ivan Morales, president of the Puerto Rican Student Association.

The organization had a display of pictures showing both sides of the U.S. bomb testing conflict in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

“People coming together and compromising- that’s a road to peace,” Morales said.

Similarly, the Colombian Student Association [COLSA] tried to help students visualize the conflict and the peace process between the government and the guerrillas through pictures of refugees and important figures in the conflict.

According to Vice President Edith Londono, COLSA also tried to show another face of Colombia through its Latin pastries, typical candies and sodas.

“People need to understand that peace is a process, much like building a road, which involves a lot of hard work, patience and willingness to work together,” said Kevin Smith, president of the Organization For Jamaican Unity, in his speech at the event. “No one man ever built a highway by himself.”

Krystle Canaii, president of the Virgin Islands Student Association, said that peace is possible in culturally diverse areas.

“In this very little island of St. Croix, your neighbor is from Palestine; one of your friends is from Venezuela and the other one [is]Dominican,” Canaii said.

Other organizations chose to interpret the theme in various creative ways.

A road painted red, white and black exhibiting the colors of the Trinidad and Tobago flag was marked with stop signs indicating important historical developments.

Patricia Pena of the Dominican Student Association explained that they chose to portray the three Mirabal sisters as icons of peace because they are highly visible icons against Trujillo’s dictatorship and also mark the international day of “No Violence Against Women.”

“We have always advocated that education is more than just showing displays and brochures,” Chun said. “Education is most rewarding when visitors have a face to associate to the culture, and hopefully, after such interactions, visitors walk away not only with information but also with a new friend.”

Up coming events include International Education Week, Nov. 18-22, and International Week, April 4-12.

Andrea Alegria can be contacted at neaalegria@aol.com

October 29, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.