Curtin Sarawak’s iFest a glittering celebration of international culture and cuisine

Candidates for best-dressed male and female of the evening.

Miri – 22 April, 2009 – The Student Council and International Student Association (ISA) of Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently joined hands to organise a glittering cultural extravaganza celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of the university’s students and staff members who come from some 40 nations.

The International Festival 2010 or ‘iFest 2010’ held at the university’s multi-purpose Recreation & Event Centre was an apt sequel to the highly successful inaugural iFest last year, drawing a significantly larger crowd and featuring a truly eclectic programme of cultural and culinary delights.

The over 300 attendees comprised invited guests including students of several local secondary schools, in addition to Curtin Sarawak students and staff, many of whom lent to the gaiety by showing up in their colourful national costumes.

Stage performances by students showcased the cultures of countries represented at Curtin Sarawak, including India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Malaysia.

The event also featured the traditional delicacies, national costumes, lifestyles and prominent landmarks of various countries.

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Joan Gribble, in commending the organisers for a successful event, said, “I applaud the efforts of the Student Council and international students in promoting multiculturalism through this iFest. With students and staff coming from some 40 nations, multiculturalism and mutual respect is indeed the hallmark of our existence here at Curtin Sarawak.”

One of the finalists for best-dressed female.

“We, as part of Curtin University, are gearing towards greater internationalisation to meet Curtin’s goal of being among the top twenty universities in Asia by 2020, and it is hoped that this campus will continue to attract ever larger numbers of international students to be considered truly international,” she added.

Professor Gribble related that international students currently comprise about 20 percent of the student population at Curtin Sarawak and their number continues to grow each year.

Student organiser Seyedomid Lameh meanwhile attributed the event’s success to the considerable time and effort the international students put into perfecting it. He said he was glad everything went flawlessly and everyone seemed to be impressed with the event. According to Seyedomid, due to the overwhelming response to the event this year, the iFest will continue to be held as an annual event at the university.

The secondary school students who attended the event were indeed greatly impressed by the event, particularly the performances by the international students. Marketing officer Felecia Ngalih of the university’s Student Recruitment Department who supervised the group said it was an eye-opener for them.

“The iFest gave them a first-hand experience of a tertiary education environment and the diversity of nationalities and cultures at an international campus like Curtin Sarawak. Hopefully, it will motivate them to pursue higher education with us after completing secondary school,” said Felecia.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, log on to its website at or e-mail [email protected].

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