Culture Committee (CultureCo) is one of the RASA societies here at UCR. Originally, CultureCo started off by organizing Culture week (where UCR, together with the rest of Middelburg, celebrated various cultures with a series of events) once a semester and eventually turned into a society organizing several events per semester.
The past couple of years the number of events that have been organised by CultureCo have declined. Last year the board made an attempt to revive the committee with fun events such as movie screenings, a holi party, bring and share dinners, etc. The Board of 2020-2021 wants to continue to bring back CultureCo’s presence within the UCR community as well as Middelburg.
With around 65 different nationalities and their different cultures at UCR, we have a unique opportunity to learn from each other. We have seen through time how there is harmony in diversity and thus want to celebrate this diversity.
All our events aim to celebrate all cultures around the world. For example, with a bring and share students get to learn about multicultural cuisine, with a movie night we get a glimpse into the culture of a country through their language, plot, characters, songs, etc. Having an origami session lets us learn a form of art from Japan while a day trip to Gent allows us to explore Belgium. These are just a few examples of the various ways we strive to promote cultural diversity.
In May, CultureCo unexpectedly received an email about a nomination for the “Ambassade van de Verdraagzaamheid” (Embassy of Tolerance) award event. The event takes place once a year and one organisation or project from each of the twelve Dutch provinces that promote cultural diversity is nominated for this event. To be nominated, the organisation has to have worked to campaign for intercultural tolerance and diversity in the past year. This year CultureCo was nominated for the province of Zeeland!
The award is organised by the Dutch foundations “Eén Land Eén Samenleving” (One Country One Society) and “Paleis van de Verdraagzaamheid” (the Palace of Forbearance) with support of the Dutch Commission for UNESCO.
There are several stages starting from the nominations to the final ceremony:
First, the nominees were announced on the 20th of May, the day before the UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity. Each of the nominees is then put in the spotlight from May onwards to September on the social media channels of Eén Land Eén Samenleving. Our spotlight is already published if you would like to check it out.
On September 14th, online voting will open for everyone living in The Netherlands and will close on the 8th of November. (Don’t forget to vote!) The final ceremony will take place in Amsterdam on Saturday the 14th of November, which is the day before the UNESCO International Day for Tolerance.
Moreover, every nominee is asked to make a short video that introduces their organisation and some events or activities. Keep an eye out for our video to get a glimpse of all the exciting events that our society organizes. CultureCo is on Facebook and Instagram.
The winner of the award will receive 1000€ to organize an event in their city or province together with Eén Land Eén Samenleving. Prizes for the second and third-placed organisations is a surprise.
CultureCo is honoured and excited to represent Zeeland for this award. Not only does this give our society great exposure but it helps us celebrate cultures which is what we stand for. It’s a privilege for us to be a part of an event which is promoting intercultural tolerance, for us, this is a prize of its own.