Week-long UCC event stressed the importance of language

World Languages Week is an annual event dedicated to celebrating linguistic diversity and inclusion at Upper Canada College, and this year’s event took place from Jan. 14 to 18.
The week spotlighted languages including Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin and French, as well as indigenous languages from Northern Canada and Brazil. The student-comprised world languages committee that organized the event worked tirelessly starting in October to plan a variety of cultural activities.
 
As Brazilian boarding student Thiago Rebelo quoted in his speech during the principal’s assembly, “to have another language is to possess another soul; language is not only words, but also the identity of a person.”
 
The message conveyed during the week was that language is crucial to one’s identity and should be talked about constantly.
 
“As part of the world languages committee, my mind has been opened to many new ideas regarding languages, and their use and importance,” said Brandon Sambrano, a member of the student organizing committee chaired by James Liao.
 
A few highlights from the week’s activities included.
 
  • a group of Portuguese musicians performing Fado, a genre of music that captures the melancholy and soulfulness of Portuguese culture, at Monday’s assembly;
  • a Chinese Club-organized lion dance performance in the student centre on Wednesday;
  • and two linguistics professors from the University of Toronto giving a lecture on indigenous languages of Brazil and Inuktitut.  
-by James Liao
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