Festival of Nations
Cross-cultural celebration a highlight of International Education Week
1:31 p.m., Nov. 27, 2013--The University of Delaware’s International Education Week came to an end with a cross-cultural celebration called the Festival of Nations on Friday, Nov. 22, in the Trabant University Center.
This event featured the International Talent and Fashion Show as well as the Festival of Nations Culture Fair.
The talent show highlighted unique talents that emphasized both international and American heritage. Fourteen acts displayed a wide variety of talents ranging from traditional Chinese dancing, swing dancing, capoeria, singing, tai chi, the UD Kamaal fusion dance group, and more.
The fashion show was filled with colorful outfits from around the globe, providing a glimpse into the broad array of cultures represented at UD.
“With over 1,000 visitors in attendance, it is encouraging to see more domestic UD students turning out for the Festival of Nations to learn more about the many cultures represented on campus,” said Scott Stevens, director of the English Language Institute. “UD is changing. We are an increasingly more culturally diverse campus.”
Throughout the night guests were able to feel as though they were traveling around the world, visiting different exhibitions representing various countries and cultures.
Registered student organizations such as the Korean American Student Association, Nihongo Club, Cosmo Club and Delaware African Student Alliance shared information about their culture and how to join their clubs.
Fourteen different countries had tables with international students providing glimpses into their customs, cultures and traditions. Guests were able to walk away with name tags in different languages and trinkets from different countries.
Students and community members were able to fill out sheets with facts about different cultures to win extra raffle tickets. Prizes were announced throughout the evening when raffle tickets provided throughout the week were collected. Some prizes included an iPad Mini, a $100 Amazon gift card, luggage and tea infusers.
“Part of what it means to be educated in the 21st century is to have had transformational cross-cultural experiences,” Stevens said. “Study abroad is one avenue to broaden one’s cultural horizons, but there are also many opportunities right here on campus to meet student ambassadors from around the world, with UD host to nearly 800 international undergraduates. My hope is that International Education Week will have inspired more UD students to reach beyond their comfort zones to befriend students from other countries.”
The Festival of Nations was sponsored by the English Language Institute with support from the Institute for Global Studies, Office of Residence Life and Housing, Office for International Students and Scholars and the Confucius Institute, with additional contributions from student organizations and international students.
Article by Elizabeth Adams
Photos by Lane McLaughlin