Visitors who entered an Aldrich classroom Friday, October 28, may have thought they were in the UN General Assembly rather than an HBS section. It started like a normal school day, but instead of putting on button-up shirts and jeans, a significant portion of the students showed up in gorgeous, colourful national costumes.
To me, it looked like a truly international wedding, where the Asian bride was wearing a traditional silk dress, the groom was in his festive African attire, the Brazilian soccer team was invited and two time-travellers from the 1850’s showed up from Central Europe, exchanging jokes with a Japanese samurai and a sheikh from Oman. What was going on? You must know by now…it was the final day of HBS International Week 2005, and hence the day of cultural displays, performances and the International TGIF.
After the never-ending “let us take another section J (A, B,…etc.) pic!” initiatives during the day, ECs and RCs moved on to Spangler. The TGIF had about 30 different country displays. Around 35% of HBS students are international and they did a great job of bringing their home countries closer to their classmates! And if the cultural displays themselves were not enough, amateur and professional performances took place all afternoon. From graceful Chinese dancers and Brazilian capoeira, to Bulgarian horo dance and Indian bhangra (among others), you would almost wonder why so many talented people chose to come to HBS rather than attend the New England Institute of Art.
The cultural displays were a great way to celebrate the diversity that we mention so often. Where else, apart from HBS, could you have the opportunity to talk to, study and party with people from almost 40 nations around the world? Perhaps the only other place really is the General Assembly.
So, if you enjoyed International Week 2005, don’t forget to warn all your friends who consider applying to HBS: dust off the kimonos, hanboks, qipaos, sarees, sombreros, cowboy hats, etc. and bring them along because there is a great event coming up – same place, same time, in 2006.