Last week KAUST hosted the annual Parade of Nations, an event that invites residents to show their national pride by dressing up in their national dress and visiting stands with information about each of the countries.
One of the wonderful parts of living at KAUST is the opportunity to connect with people from all around the world on a daily basis. There are over 90 nationalities represented in a community of just over 6000 people – and it shows! I regularly look around a table of friends at dinner and realize that we’re all from different countries. And, Jordan’s best friends in his daycare are British, Saudi, Slovakian, Brazilian, and Chinese. Diversity and multiculturalism are not corporate buzzwords here… they’re what we live every day.
One of the long-standing jokes about living here is that the question “where are you from” can be pretty complicated for some people to answer. For many people it involves saying their nationality, their place of birth, their most recent location etc – because all of these are different places. My children for instance have lived their whole lives in Saudi, but they are American/British. It’ll never be too straightforward for them!
Anyhow, back to the Parade… The Parade of Nations is entirely volunteer-driven. The people who host the stands do so because they want to share about their culture with the rest of the community. The stands are well developed with food and cultural information. Walking around the stands is like taking a very quick round-the-world trip.
This event is my favorite of the year, not only because it is the biggest community event at KAUST, but because it really brings out the best in everyone.
In writing this post, I wanted to include the community’s voice. So, I reached out to our community Facebook page and invited them to submit photos from this year’s event for readers to see. They are all included below. If you were there and would like to add a photo, please do so in the comments of this post.
Looking forward to many more Parade of Nations events to come!
You can see more photos from previous Parade of Nations’ via the KAUST Flickr page.