Raya away from home

Latifa (left) assisting with food preparation for a buka puasa event.

AS an international student in Malaysia, Latifa Hamad Nassoro does not always have the opportunity to travel back home for the holidays.

What the Tanzanian student has done is to build her own family community here.

Latifa recently celebrated Hari Raya with her “rafikis”.

“Rafiki”, more popularly known as the name of a character from the Disney animated film, “The Lion King”, translates into “friend” in the Swahili language.

Latifa said that her “rafikis” have become her second family here since she moved to Malaysia two years ago to pursue a degree in Business Administration at INTI International College Kuala Lumpur.

She said her Hari Raya celebration here involved inviting other international students over for a pot-luck meal.

As a result, this enabled them to taste each other’s cuisine.

“My Raya became a very international experience because apart from preparing a Tanzanian dish myself, our pot-luck spread included a Kazakh dish, a Nigerian dish and an Algerian dish.

“One could say we even beat the hotels when it came to preparing an international feast!” said Latifa.

Once the feasting was done, Latifa said they spoke on many topics including their countries’ politics, culture and religion.

To lighten up the atmosphere, they started playing the music from their own countries and dancing to it.

Latifa said her international experience is thanks to her time at INTI. “She is presently the vice president of INTI’s Student Council, INTIMA and is involved in many campus activities where she is able to meet other international students from different programmes.

INTI International College Kuala Lumpur chief executive Anis Laila said: “INTI presently has international students from close to 100 countries from across the globe.”

“We encourage these nationalities to connect and discover new cultures as part of our diverse learning environment.

“Beyond offering a curriculum that is recognised internationally, we also provide opportunities for all of our students to gain international experiences through semester abroad programmes and study tours.

“By creating a multicultural community, students can look beyond the familiar and engage in knowing more about the world around them, preparing them for the increasingly inter-connected workspace they will step into as future professionals,” she said.

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