The Global Culture Café (GCC) by Sunway Cultural Exchange: Bringing the World to You

The Global Culture Café (GCC) by Sunway Cultural Exchange is a series of social events and cultural workshops that aim to introduce various countries and cultures around the world to the Sunway community.

When originally planned, it was intended to be held on campus with students actively participating in the activities. In view of the new normal, we adapted by going virtual, and utilised Zoom to run GCC in 2020. So far, we have had video calls with participants to share about cultural experiences across several countries which include South Korea, Mauritius, United States, Australia, Indonesia, and more. Despite the challenges, Sunway Cultural Exchange managed to invite facilitators who are Sunway international students based in their home country, as well as esteemed guest speakers in the industry. The GCC provides a conducive environment to create bonds between the participants and facilitators. It also creates a sense of community among the facilitators at a place away from home.

The GCC is conducted on a monthly basis and has featured a different country each month. The featured country in October was South Korea. A guest speaker from the Korea Tourism Organisation Malaysia shared about Korean history, syllables (Hangeul), seasons, festivals, cuisine, and K-pop. One of the facilitators, Miyeon, conducted an online workshop on Korean expressions for daily conversation.

In November, we featured Mauritius. We invited the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority to share insights about Mauritius such as the language, history, tourism sector, culture, as well as the famous Dodo bird to the participants. The Mauritian facilitators presented ‘Food in Mauritius’ through pre-recorded videos featuring food tours and local hangouts, giving a taste of Mauritian gastronomy. The facilitators also provided a live food presentation.

In light of the festive season, we changed things up in December by sharing about Christmas around the world. Facilitators from different countries shared about the ways Christmas gets celebrated, and we got to hear stories from the United States, South Korea, China, Australia, Mauritius, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It was insightful to witness the varied, yet similar Christmas celebrations across different countries.

The climax of each GCC session is the Connect + Talk segment where participants engage in meaningful and interactive conversations with the facilitators. The positive impact of GCC can be felt in the connections of students from different parts of the world as well as the bonds within the international student community in Sunway. Moving forward, GCC will maintain the current good practice of featuring more countries, cultures as well as connections. Hence, stay tuned to Sunway Cultural Exchange’s social media platforms for more interesting updates - Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.