International Days came to a close last week on March 10. The evening was filled with performances and a fashion show that showcased ethnic wear nearly every continent. With more than 100 models, the show’s popularity has been rising over the years, according to one organizer. The lead on the organization of the fashion show was Teresa Wei, an international student advisor with TRU World.
Miranda Kennedy Smith, a business student at TRU, was born and raised in Canada. She walked the stage wearing an Afghan, the cultural garb of Afghanistan. This Afghan was bought in Pakistan by a student studying in Canada.
Smith has been involved with IDays since she joined university. She worked with TRU World as a co-op student and worked on the organization of the fashion show as well. In her opinion, the fashion show has done a great job in bringing people from different cultures together. When students wear varied outfits, walk together and prepare for the show together, they have a chance to connect with each other, she said. Smith pointed out how the show has helped people grow closer since a lot more Canadian students are now joining and are understanding different cultures better.
Manzil Thakkar, a TRU alumnus, drove from Chilliwack to Kamloops just to see the fashion show and to take part in what he called the “diversity fest.” His favourite thing was seeing all the outfits and being able to showcase his own culture. He walked the ramp wearing a handwoven chikankari kurta from Lucknow, India. The artisans can take up to several days to finish one piece of embroidered kurta. He walked the stage with Teshu Agarwal, who wore a Gujarati Bandhani saree.
This year is Canada’s 150th anniversary and to celebrate that, the show had a few models representing Canada. One of the models was Deb Cousineau, a TRU employee, who wore Montreal Canadiens Jersey and carried a hockey stick. Another Canadian model was Gillian Perran, who dressed as a lumberjack.
The IDays fashion is accessible. Unlike a typical ramp walk, it has no restrictions on height, weight, costumes or anything else. Thus, it represents true diversity of not only TRU but Canada.