Enactus World Cup 2019: World Cultural Experience

Have you ever wondered what happens at the World Cultural Experience but haven’t had the opportunity to attend? Two of our students who are KPMG bursary recipients, Liam Oxley from NUI Galway and Una O’Sullivan from University of Limerick share their experience of attending the event. The World Cultural Experience invites all attendees to experience the diverse culture within the Enactus network as students from each Enactus country display their native traditions and customs.  

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The highlight of our Enactus experience, like so many of the students from around the world who come to the Enactus World Cup, would be the incredibly energetic and extraordinarily vibrant event that is the World Cultural Experience. Straight away as you walk into the hall you are met with the vast array of colours, symbols and flags of the many stalls which each country has carefully and patriotically assembled to represent the incredible cultures and traditions of their homeland, which for some is the other side of the world. Each stall was filled with diverse foods, crafts, native clothing and jewellery of the representing countries which the students were only delighted to stop and talk about to any interested visitor.

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Each country was handing out something different; from the Korean team with personalised hand fans, India with handcrafted clay camels and to the French team with their gourmet crepes! There wasn't a quiet moment over the entire event with many of the energetic teams providing fantastic entertainment through native song and dance, while getting everyone involved. What stood out for us both in the whole event was the heart-warming comradery which each team showed to each other. The competition aspect of the three days was lost among the laughs and cheers as the cultural event enabled attendees to channel their energy to celebrate all countries involved in Enactus.  

The Irish stall proved to be a great hit with both students and faculty advisers alike from countries all over the world wanting to try a piece of traditional porter cake from O’ Hara’s Bakery or listen to some Irish tunes. Taking turns at the stall we shared stories with competitors from across the globe on what it is like being a student in Ireland as well as sharing the pride we have in our country. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were able to give students a taste of Ireland by handing out samples of VitHit and Ballymaloe Relish as well as a range of stationary from the ESB. We were also able to promote Ireland’s commitment to reducing plastic waste by offering reusable silicone straws from EcoStraw.ie.

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Having the opportunity to learn about so many different cultures is an experience we will never forget. Everyone who attends the Enactus World Cup always comes home with the World Cultural Experience being a stand out moment from the competition but you cannot understand the joy, excitement and feeling of pride in your own country until you have experienced it for yourself. It was an honour for both of us to represent Team Ireland at an event that brings together so many different backgrounds in a celebration of our customs and traditions.

Finally, a big thank you to all the companies who sponsored us with their products for the World Cultural Fair: Fáilte Ireland, VitHit, Ballymaloe, EcoStraws.ie, ESB, O’Haras of Foxford Bakery, Intel, Electric Ireland, Meet In Ireland, SAP and Edamame Eco!

Liam Redmond