Cultural Day of colour and flavour

A fantastic day celebrating the amazing diversity at UTC Heathrow took place when students and staff took part in a special Culture Day.

On Wednesday 24 April, students and staff were invited to wear items reflecting their cultural heritage and bring in favourite foods on a day designed to promote cultural awareness and understanding by showing the range of backgrounds present in our wonderful school community.

And wow did UTCH deliver! Around 30 different cultures were represented, from England to Ethiopia; Palestine to the Philippines, Albania to African nations and more…

National flags and colourful outfits made an amazing change from the teenagers’ typical choices of black and grey clothing as the school was transformed into a whirl of colour. You could feel the pride emanating off each student as they talked about their heritage – their families, their clothing and the food they had brought with them.

It was a wonderful day of learning as the students found out things about their friends and teaching staff they might not have known before, discovering more about the similarities and differences that make up a diverse community.

One the day the students listened to an assembly by Head of School Jas Kallah, who was dressed in a typical Indian cultural outfit representing Northern India and Skanda Gopal, wearing a kurta from India. Members of the student council, who had worked hard to co-ordinate the day, also spoke, including Head Boy Hussein. Hussein, who has an Iraqi background and said he was: “Proud of how so many students had worn traditional clothing and brought food as it was hard work to get people interested!”

A short film festival followed, with a selection of shorts specially selected to reflect cultural archetypes, tropes and facets of ethnicity.

For many the best bit was the food and drink, which gave the chance to try new dishes, and find out the origin and cultural significance of each dish. Foods included Ethiopian vegan pancakes, Indian snacks (jeera papri gabhia), Afghan sugar coated almonds (nuqal) and a special sweet Albanian tea. “I’d no idea what some of these foods existed or why we eat them,” student Hussein said.

The afternoon saw a performance of Bhangra dancing, Sri Lankan drumming, a ‘cultural catwalk’ and finally a quiz.


Students and staff had a great time – here’s what they had to say.

Students and staff had a great time – here’s what they had to say.

Emmanuel, Ghana: “It’s a good day – I’m just enjoying this Ghanian jollof. Is it good? Yes, my mum made it!”

Suzana, India: “I’m wearing a shararah, which is generally worn to ceremonial occasions, especially weddings.”

Mr Bimeraw, IT teacher, Ethiopia: “It’s amazing to celebrate your culture and share where you are from, it makes you proud. These Ethiopian pancakes are very popular now as they are vegan and tasty.”

Friends Laila, America and Maryam, Pakistan: “We’re having a lot of fun and have enjoyed tasting all the food.

Rebeka, IT technician, Russia and Latvia: “I’ve got mixed heritage so wanted to show both. I’ve got a traditional Latvian dress but it’s so crazy – I wish I’d worn it now!”


Abigail, Phillipines: “I’m wearing a Maria Clara dress, which was worn in the Phillipines in the 17th century when the country was colonised by Spain. I’m thankful for the fan today!”

Aaron Singh-Sohi, Assistant Principal, China. “I’m not Chinese! I’m a citizen of the world (Aaron has a Scottish/Punjabi/Serbian heritage) and didn’t think we had anyone representing China today so…”










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