The flags were proudly waving and the tandoori sizzling, as Macquarie’s Pakistani community put on their best shalwar kameez* to celebrate their Independence Day.
*A traditional outfit originating in South Asia.
Hosted by the Pakistanis at Macquarie (PAK@MACQ) student group, the Independence Day event saw the courtyard filled with music, dance, tantalising food and the signature green and white colours of the Pakistani flag.
A highlight of the event was a visit from the Consul General of Pakistan, Mr Abdul Aziz Uqaili, who spoke of the importance of cultural diversity at universities, and praised Macquarie for its commitment to celebrating different cultures and nationalities.
President of PAK@MACQ Mehreen Javed was elated with the event turnout, pointing to the growth and increasing support of the Pakistani community at Macquarie in recent years.
“When I first started, I never used to see any Pakistanis around,” Mehreen says. “Now I’ve met many students who say, ‘I only came to Macquarie because you have the best Pakistani society!’ That is the most rewarding thing that you can hear.”
One of many different cultural student groups at Macquarie, PAK@MACQ enjoys strong ties to the wider Pakistani community in Sydney.
“We have a sustained social rapport within both the Pakistani student community, and the wider local community as well,” Mehreen notes. “Students from other universities come to our meetings, and even people from the local Ryde and Marsfield areas.”
Mehreen says she is grateful to the University for promoting multiculturalism on campus.
“I don’t think I’ve heard of another university that provides so much assistance, finance and promotion of everyone’s culture,” she says.
“For me, Macquarie University is a place that excites, values and pushes for pioneering movements of any type – which is why we have this brilliant society that has attained such a wonderful reputation.”
Macquarie University is visiting Pakistan this August. See Events in Your Country for event details.