Pangea 2015: Reviewed

Pangea is a one of a kind event that aims to represent the cultural diversity that our university is known for. The weekend began on Thursday night with a launch party. This was meant to be a bonfire but the dreary weather caused some logistical issues and the event was moved to the Union Main Bar. Still an exciting celebration, entertainment was provided by the STAR show, It’s a Wise Child, and by the St Andrews Anthropology Society.

The expo that ran through Friday and Saturday consisted of multiple stalls from many societies that represent different cultural groups in St Andrews and more. These societies included Catholic Society, SMIG (St Andrews Malaysian International Group), Colour Me Black, Chinese Hongpao Society, African Caribbean Society, Sanskriti, Vietnamese Society, and Hong Kong Society. Each society represented their own culture through food, art, and many other methods.

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Also as part of the expo, on Friday there were two speakers: Dr Pipyrou and Dr Marten. Dr Pipyrou spoke about the struggles of a linguistic minority and Mr Marten spoke about the construction of identity along ethnic and religious lines along with cultural politics and the issues of this in a globalising world.

The expo was rounded of with a ceilidh hosted by CelticSoc, representing the culture of St. Andrews itself.

Following the ceilidh on Friday evening, there was a screening of the critically acclaimed film by Yann Arthus-Bertand, Human, which began with a Skype call discussion with the director. This film is a collection of various real-life stories from over 2000 people in 60 countries when prompted with the question “what does it mean to be human?”

Later that night, the event moved from Club 601 to Sandy’s Bar to take over karaoke night. Decorated with flags around the bar, it was clear that this Friday night in Sandy’s was not typical; however, as the night went on, it was obvious that patrons were not totally aware of Pangea as it was going on—the atmosphere was not different than any other Friday night, disregarding the spill over of people in costume from Disney bop.

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On Saturday the expo hosted three more speakres: Sanghita Sen, Dr Raychaudhuri, and Shruti Narayanswamy. Sanghita Sen spoke about the culture of gender and relationship prescription in Indian cinema and Shruti Narayanswamy spoke on the discourses of feminism and gender equality through the internet and its impact on popular culture and society.

For this event, the speakers and the stalls all occurred in one half of Club 601; I hope that in the future, if this event grows, the speakers and the stalls can be set in different rooms so that they can occur concurrently. This was a point of confusion, as the only schedule I could find were real time updates from the facebook event. It was slightly frustrating to try to make it to certain parts of the event but to always be late or totally miss something.

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Due to scheduling conflicts, the after party in the Beacon Bar did not occur. Slated to perform for this event were Ukelear Fusion, Lauren McLeod, George Kakas, and Catriona Lamb. A great line-up already seen around town at Masquerade Ball and Music is Love events, it is a bit of a disappointment that this party did not occur.

Overall, while Pangea 2015 was a good event, disorganization and logistical issues kept it from being a great event. With definite potential to grow and become a new St Andrean fixture, I look forward to a possible Pangea 2016 next year.

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