Students gathered between EMR and Claudius, on Wednesday, to enjoy a new fall tradition. The Culture Fest, hosted by the International Center, celebrated different cultures from around the world through food, dance and music. ORU put on the event as a way for students and faculty to learn about and celebrate the cultural diversity represented at the university.
“I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s awesome for us to get an opportunity to share about where we’re from because a lot of us, myself included, assimilate when we come out here,” said Kayla Christopher, senior from Bermuda. “It’s easy to lose a bit of your culture so to be able to bring it with you and to showcase it, it’s just really awesome to get that opportunity.”
The event started on an educational note, allowing students to learn about different countries. Once entering the event, each student was given a passport and instructed to visit a different table to get their passports signed and stamped. Each table represented a specific part of the world, such as South America, Asia and Caribbean Islands.
Africa invited students to try Garri, a Nigerian/South African staple food. Asia offered Chinese dumplings and egg rolls. The Global U table gave students a glimpse of augmented reality, allowing them to view 3D images through tablets. After students visited all tables, they presented their completed passports to receive a t-shirt and other prizes.
The festivities of the night began soon after the passport stamping. The Korean band, Kompany, gave a live performance to start the night off. Next, students presented a flag parade, representing the 90 nations at ORU. A fashion show highlighted the night. It featured fashions from countries around the world using traditional fabrics, styles and jewelry.
“For me [the fashion show] wascool…for us to be on the stage at the same time. It just represents the height of what ORU is about,” said Candera Gilbert, a graduate student from the Bahamas. “I used to hear that America was like a melting pot, but now it’s more like a tossed salad where nobody needs to lose their unique identity.”
After the fashion show, students enjoyed traditional Indian, Chinese and Italian dance performances. Food at the culture fest included a rich menu with treats like Greek gyros, Turkish baklava, Kung Pao chicken, bubble (boba) tea, churros, watermelon and peach cobbler.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to experience small aspects of the different cultures represented on campus.
“I really liked that there was a big turnout. I liked the different cultures and the dances of the different cultures,” said junior Galilee Abraham. “I had a lot of fun here with my friends.”