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News article

Vibrant Vesak celebration at York St John University London Campus

Published: 11 June 2024

  •   Community
  •    International
Colourful lanterns hang from a ceiling

York St John University London held its first-ever Vesak celebration on campus, initiated by its Sri Lankan student community. 

During the celebration of this important Buddhist festival, the campus was adorned with lanterns crafted by the student body, many representing the flags of students’ home countries and highlighting the rich tapestry of cultures at York St John London.  
A highlight of the celebration was an immersive experience offered by virtual reality (VR), created by Sri Lankan students. These VR experiences transported participants to the heart of Sri Lankan Vesak festivities, providing a unique and engaging way to understand and appreciate this important cultural and religious event. 
With over 300 participants, the day also featured traditional Sri Lankan dishes, including devilled chickpeas. The culinary offerings provided a unique opportunity for students to experience and appreciate Sri Lankan cuisine.  
Julius Ibraham, Enterprise and Innovations Manager at York St John London, said: “As part of the festivities, the Sri Lankan student community gifted the Dean of York St John University London a 3D-printed Buddha statue, crafted in the campus’s MakerVerse space - a hub for student creativity and innovation.  
“The Vesak celebration at York St John London had a profound effect on students and staff, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity, as attendees from diverse backgrounds came together to learn about and appreciate Sri Lankan culture. 
“Students gained a deeper understanding of Vesak traditions through immersive VR experiences and cultural displays. Overall, the event not only celebrated diversity but also strengthened the bonds within the York St John London community, thereby improving wellbeing and creating a respectful and inclusive campus culture.” 

Louise Donaghy, Dean of York St John London, said: “It was a lovely, thoughtful day. It was well organised, we had great attendance, and the students and staff clearly had a fabulous time.”

Learn more about studying at York St John University London. 

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