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Celebrating our diversity...

One World WeekOne World Week, the world's largest student-run international event, will take place between January 29th and February 5th 2011. This year's event is probably the most ambitious to date: a self-funded, non-profit initiative which will draw more than 20,000 participants to celebrate the world’s diversity.

Warwick's students are an amazingly diverse bunch coming from 190 countries around the world. One World Week – the name is probably familiar to anyone who has studied at Warwick over the last 16 years – is the opportunity for current students to celebrate the mosaic of cultures that they represent. Over the nine days of the festival, visitors can take part in an amazingly diverse range of events, from drama and sports to music and political debate.

To reflect the international nature of the student body, each day has a global theme: Middle East and Africa, IndoAsia, East Asiania, Americas and Caribbean and finally Europe. On each day participants can highlight the art, culture, sport and current affairs issues from that part of the world through the four elements (forum, sport, nights and festival). This year, the events range from capoeira and salsa performances to wine tasting and a Venetian mask making session.

The One World Forum is an important part of the week and provides an opportunity for students to attend talks and participate in discussions which aim to promote awareness of the issues affecting our world. Forum 2011 will feature topics such as the future of nuclear power, corporate social responsibility and feeding the hungry. Speakers include John Hancock (Director of the World Trade Organisation) and Michael Reid (Editor of the Economist).

Sport plays a very important part in the event as something which can unite people from all countries. Through tournaments, competitions, matches and workshops, One World Sports promoted both cultural and racial integration as well as sport itself. This year's sports will include a One World 5-a-side football tournament, a trampoline competition and a Wii tournament as well as numerous others.

One World Week Nights are always a highlight of the week and this year is no exception. The World Music Concert looks to combine a fantastic amalgamation of global sounds, rhythms and beats mixing classical, contemporary and avant-garde styles together. The fashion show – ‘Evolution to Utopia’ is exploring the exciting theme of society today and how we are living on a delicate balance of social, political, economic and even environmental stability. As well as these thrilling events, participants can look forward to an inter-university dance-off, a masquerade carnival and a DJ set by the world-renowned Mark Ronson!

The One World Festival aspires not only to display the variety of cultural experience, but to encourage the student body to engage actively with it. Through a diverse and wide range of student performances, workshops, exhibitions and stalls, the festival will encourage greater multi-cultural knowledge among the vast student population as well as the local community. By creating “an atmosphere of cohesion and celebration” throughout the week, the festival aims to provide genuine insight into the various subcultures at the University. Some of the highlights this year include a Eurovision Song Contest and a DJ workshop.

Something that began as a one day event in 1995 has now become the world's largest student run international event. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations said of One World Week:

“One World Week's primary objective is to celebrate the beauty of our world's diversity. It is entirely dedicated to an inspiring exploration of cultures, of the human being and of his world. Over the years it has come to be the most important international student festival... I ardently encourage initiatives of this kind.”Please visit the One World Week website or our Facebook page for more information.