Highlighting the traditions of the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, and China, this International Day at Swiss Hotel Management School serves as a dynamic celebration of unity in diversity, featuring everything from multicultural talent shows to a culinary fusion banquet.
A buzz of chatter and excitement in the theater. Dignitaries, school faculty, and students sitting side by side in the audience. The curtains part as the multicultural talent show begins. The Caux campus of Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) once again embraces its distinction as a home away from home for students from all around the world with International Day, the school's bi-annual celebration of the multicultural nature of SHMS as well as the hospitality and tourism industries. This vibrant celebration is organized by students in the Master of Arts in International Hospitality Business Management program and serves as an awe-inspiring testament to the rich diversity of our community, honoring students and faculty from across the globe.
This iteration of International Day spotlights three countries: the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, and China. The event was graced by representatives from the consulates and embassies of Saudi Arabia and the Dominican Republic. Their presence not only lent an air of gravitas but also validated the importance of cultural exchange and international understanding in today’s globalized world. The event starts with a meticulously laid-out welcome cocktail before leading into the famous Caux Palace theater for the talent show featuring performances with a multicultural twist. In a world where borders often divide, the auditorium of SHMS becomes a stage where boundaries are blurred. After a welcome speech by SHMS Dean Dr. Dominic Szambowski, we witness together a Malaysian student singing a song in Mandarin and a duet between a Dominican and Swedish student harmonizing in English, among other performances which serve as powerful statements of unity in diversity as well as each performing student’s pride in their own cultural heritage. Adding to the depth of cultural immersion, a special video was also broadcast from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture. This interlude serves as a poignant moment of reflection and a reminder of the richness of Saudi Arabian heritage.
One of the evening's highlights is undoubtedly the fashion show, where students showcase traditional outfits from their home countries. During the dinner banquet, a string of students strut on stage to show off both traditional and modern cultural outfits. From the flowing robes of Vietnam to the vibrant colors of Dominican dress, the runway walk is a beautiful tapestry of tradition and diversity.
No celebration of culture would be complete without food, and the menu for the event is selected and beautifully put together by the organizing Master students. It is easy to imagine that the menu team enjoyed planning this fusion menu as much as guests enjoyed eating it. Guests have the opportunity to indulge in a banquet that is nothing short of global. Dishes for the event, from the appetizer to dessert, have been specially curated to be a fusion between the cuisines of the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, and China, offering attendees a literal taste of the countries in focus.
The International Day celebration is one of the first organized events held by the students every semester, and it sets a strong tone for the events planned not just by the master students, but also for the bachelor students. A special acknowledgment goes to Josiel Torres, the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, who returned to the Caux campus after studying for his Master’s degree there in order to represent his home country, the Dominican Republic. In addition, the Master of Arts students at the Caux Campus have been working hard to meticulously organize the event. Led by SHMS events lecturer Stephanie Hawawini, their efforts exemplify the leadership and organizational skills that are central to the SHMS ethos.
As the multicultural evening comes to a close with cheers for the students and staff who have executed the event and a lively impromptu dance, it leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of all who attend. For everyone, International Day is more than just a day of celebration and serves as a statement of what SHMS stands for—unity in diversity, international understanding, and the connections forged between global citizens.
This bi-annual event stands as a hallmark in the academic calendar of SHMS, a symbol of the unity that thrives in diversity. Even as relationships between nations make or break, the connections we have on an individual level are what keep minds open and make the world more whole, something more important today than ever. As we look forward to the next International Day, we are reminded that the rich tapestry of our multicultural community is indeed our greatest asset and one of our proudest legacies.