Thanks to the OMSA Wellness Initiative Grant, Queen’s Medicine was able hold it’s first (and hopefully annual) Cultural Exchange Night, punnily termed InQBate, on February 16, 2017. It was an evening that highlighted the pluralism of the QMed family. We celebrated our culture and diversity through music, food, language and clothing. We also included an educational component where students of different cultures gave brief overview of their customs, traditions and cultural experiences. This fostered a sense of inclusivity, with the hopes of ultimately mitigating social isolation and strengthening the intercultural connections within our medical school community.
Given that the event was a potluck, we had a wide array of foods, from Mexican delicacies to tasty Armenian dishes to authentic Indian chai – it was a feast! We had some spontaneous dancing, the application of mehndi (henna) and captivating storytelling of people’s cultural experiences. It was an event that allowed us to share our stories, often of immigration, adversity, triumph and gratitude. It was a wonderful reminder that diversity in culture, religion, ethnicity and other realms add richness to our community that is unparalleled.