On the morning of 22nd October, 40 Indian students, walked into the China National Convention Center, dressed in traditional wear, donning huge smiles and carrying the tricolour with pride.
They walked in to see one of the most colourful and vibrant sights ever. Students from world over, had the same expressions each face told the same story. The ensemble of passion, pride and excitement was reflected by every person in the room.
For many it was a dream come true. It was the moment they had been waiting for, ever since they had been crowned the national champions of their respective countries. It was a feeling like no other, one shared by over 3000 students from across the globe.
It all began with the Culture Fair. Stalls were put up by the participating countries, with traditional food and little souvenirs, that are symbolic of the country. At the Indian stall, we had puppet keychains, tricolour bangles, bindi, post cards, decorative mirrors and boxes, incense sticks, mehendi, saunf, supari, mishri and churan.
People were clicking pictures with each other, as everyone was dressed in their traditional attire. We sang bollywood songs, danced, and generally added to the atmosphere of enthusiasm and joy. The contingent from India had joined the party.
This was followed by the Parade of Nations, wherein every country’s contingent walked across the stage, led by the team leader carrying the flag. It was just like the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, and coincidentally, the Bird’s Nest, venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was just a few hundred metres away.
With everyone in high spirits, the competition began the following day, with the opening round of presentations. Later that day, we learnt that India placed 3rd in its league and unfortunately did not progress to the semi-final round. Dreams were broken and hearts were shattered, but the World Cup spirit, did not die down.
The next day, the semi-finals took place, followed by the final round. The four finalists were China, Ireland, Morocco and Puerto Rico. All four teams had targeted different communities, and their projects had a varied essence. China were declared the World Cup Champions, followed by Morocco and Puerto Rico.
The World Cup, turned out to be much much more than what we had expected, and honestly, we had expected a lot. There were many sessions conducted by top business leaders which were, to say the least, extremely inspiring.
The competition may not have gone in our favour, but looking back, it wasn’t about the Cup. It was about bigger things, better things. The Enactus motto “We All Win” was the essence of the entire event.
As we walked out of the China National Convention Center, for the last time, the words “We All Win” echoed throughout the four floors of the CNCC, rang in our ears and reverberated in our hearts. We walked out with as much pride as we had walked in with, holding our heads high, and wearing huge smiles.