25 February 2014

Cultural Weeks are undoubtedly a highlight of the MBA calendar at HEC Paris. Providing the perfect opportunity to energize, socialize and above all organize, the cultural weeks are student-led and always prove a hit amongst students and MBA staff alike. They hold a lot of academic credit too; not only are they a lot of fun, but they also constitute a key leadership experience for our students as they lead and co-ordinate their teams to put on a week-long show for all to see.

With no less than 3 different cultural weeks taking place within the last month alone, it is safe to say that recently our schedule has been rather full. First up was a week celebrating all things Japanese, 23rd-24th January. Next was the Chinese Cultural Week – scheduled to coincide with Chinese New Year during the first week of February – followed by Latin American Week last week

Japanese Cultural Week, 23rd-24th January

It’s the country that brought us Hello Kitty, Pokémon and salmon skin rolls. But that is not all that Japan is known for. The program of events for Japanese Cultural Week was designed to give attendees a glimpse into real Japanese culture, with workshops on calligraphy and origami, with an evening spent playing traditional Japanese games.

The Fashion Show is a traditional and much-anticipated part of any Cultural Week, for it both maximizes student participation and cultural immersion. The Japanese fashion show was no different, with students from all cultures donning traditional Japanese costume and strutting their stuff in front of their peers. With beautiful embroidery, rich colors and a sumo suit on show, the catwalk proved a fine visual representation of Japanese style; testament to why Japanese fashion is so iconic, revered and copied around the world (minus maybe the sumo suit).

Finally, no overview of a Cultural Week would be complete without mentioning the food. Attendees of the evening event were able to enjoy a meal of sushi, maki and sashimi: delicious.

ありがとうございます (thank you!) to the Organizing Committee for Japan week: Hitoshi Nakamura, Katrina Senn, Ai Hosokawa, Takuya Akaishi, Takeaki Shindo.

Chinese Cultural Week, 5th-6th February

恭禧發財! Or rather, Happy New Year everybody! Chinese New Year in 2014 fell on the 31st January, and in order to celebrate and bring in the Year of the Horse in style at HEC Paris, we had two evenings of cultural celebration in the MBA Building.

The first of these evenings hosted a variety of activities on campus, including a tai-chi demonstration, a unique dumpling-making workshop and a traditional tea-making ceremony. The evening was rounded off with a delicious meal and a spectacular Dancing Lion performance, leaving the audience speechless. Another interesting aspect of the event was the “selfie” competition where students took photos of themselves enjoying the celebrations in a bid to win prizes, creating a buzz on Social Media and encouraging everyone to get involved.

The second evening saw the return of the fashion show, as students dressed up and striked a pose in traditional Chinese attire; think lots of silk, red lipstick and oil-paper umbrellas. The fashion show was perfectly complemented by a Talent Show which welcomed MBA students and non-MBA students alike, as they sang, danced and performed their way into the eager crowd’s hearts.

谢 谢 你 的 帮 助(thank you!) to the Organizing Committee for China week: Yange Wang, Hua-Jung Chang, Wenchao Cai, Dandan Su, Liqian Chen, Ma Peiyi.

Latin America Cultural Week, 10th-13th February

The cherry on top of the cake was the week celebrating all things Latin American, last week at HEC Paris MBA. This week was full of vibrancy and energy as the organizing team did a great job of laying out a program of events that served to entertain and educate.

The week began – as many do in the MBA – in the Piano Bar, the student-run bar within the Expansiel residence on campus. With a live Forró band and samba dancing, the evening ensured that interest was piqued and feet were moving! The week continued on Wednesday as a more sedate affair, with a screening of the 2009 Oscar award winner for Best Foreign Language, El Secreto de sus Ojos (The Secret in their Eyes), directed by the Argentinian director Juan José Campanella.

Energy levels were back up on Thursday evening as Latin America week reached its climax with a meal, raffle and trivia quiz. Students were able to show off their knowledge of Latin America with topics ranging from football to famous figures and landmarks. The atmosphere was one of joviality and good humor, an atmosphere heightened by the arrival of a Mariachi band, performing Bolero music with songs such as El Rey providing the perfect accompaniment to dinner. Even the raffle was a lively affair, with a tense rock-paper-scissors stand-off conducted to award the final prize.

The evening was rounded off with another gathering in the Piano Bar with Latin music, Salsa lessons and even a piñata providing a grand send-off for this Cultural Week. The evening doubled up as a end-of-term celebration for some MBA students also, as they prepared for their winter break to start the very next day.

Muchas gracias (thank you!) to the Organizing Committee for Latin American week: Claudia Lazo Visbal, Victor Garibay, Alejandra Galindo, Yessica Trejo, Gladis Trejo, Hector Argente, Henrique Salles, Lucas Bucater, Yolima Cazares, Marcus Vilcinski, Ornella Afonso, Paola Sanchez, Martín Navarrette, Fabrice Clerc, Felipe Natal, Juan José Lizana, Armando Halfeld.

We’d also like to thank everyone who came to these Cultural Week; your participation and enthusiasm helped make these events so great! Also, thanks go to our MBA Student Services for working so closely with the Organizing Committees to help make these weeks a reality.

Next on the Cultural Week calendar: North America week, coming in March.

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