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Iron Blade

Around the World in One Room

International students particpate in Culture Fair
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  • Thabelo Nemulodi, junior, points out the many things about South Africa she holds near and dear.

  • Zhou Yinan, junior, sets up his table with food from home in China.

  • TJ Baker displays the wonders of Australia during the Culture Fair.

  • Agustina Espino and Natalie Hernández, Fulbright Scholars, set up a sample poster featuring Uruguay.

  • Amanuel Walie, sophomore, explains to students where they can find the best coffee.

  • Gabriel Álvarez, sophomore, puts out cocosette from Venezuela for passersby

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Big on travel but haven’t been too far?

Natalie Hernandez, Fulbright Scholar, in collaboration with Student Engagement, the Modern Languages Department, and the International Programs office, organized a Cultural Fair for international students to host on March 26 in the Panther’s Den from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

“The primary goal of the Cultural Fair is to unite international students and share our diverse cultures with the broader community,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez acquired funding for the Fair, and each student representing a country was tasked with finding items that remind them of home–while also keeping to the budget.

“Each participating country (had) approximately $40-$50 to spend on items to enhance their table’s presentation,” Hernandez explained

A total of nine international students participated. Brian Suttell, the director of International Programs invited participating faculty members to share items they have from countries they have visited or studied about.

Agustina Espino, a Fulbright Scholar from Uruguay attending Pacific University in Oregon, came to help out with the planning and preparations for the fair.

“Because of Fulbright, we had a conference last November and we went to Washington D.C.” she said. “We held a culture fair there, so this is my second fair. With the help of our Embassies, they provided some materials for us, and now I’m helping organize one myself.”

The countries that were represented at this campus’s cultural fair were Spain, Uruguay, South Africa, China, Kenya, Ethiopia, Venezuela, and Australia.

Each student displayed a board and tables decorated with items originating from their country and guided attendees through the many things that they loved about their country, as well as things that they would love to bring to America. The one thing that everyone said they missed the most was the social culture and their food.

Zhou Yinan, junior, and an international student from China, wanted people to know that not everything they hear about Chnina is true is true.

“I miss the food and friends. People always think that we eat dogs, but we don’t eat dogs or cats,” Zhou chuckled.

Australia is in the Top 3 when it comes to having the most venomous animals in the world. It is estimated that Australia hosts 66 venomous species, ranking beneath countries such as Brazil (with 79 species) and Mexico (with 80).

”I think the funnel-web spider (is) nasty guys,” said Tj Baker, a senior from Down Under. “Here is me trying to recall facts: They are the most venomous spider and they have enough venom to kill you in 15 minutes, (but) there is an anti-venom available.”

Baker said if there was one thing they could bring over would be Australian football.

Many students and professors stopped by to enjoy the Cultural fair with the international students.

“So I’m at the Culture Fair, and its pretty nice; it’s a nice vibe,” said Trent Proctor, junior. “It’s nice to walk around and see people with different cultures and to just check out their boards as well and understand where they have been and see where they come from.”

Hernandez had Many others help in the process of planning the event which involved requesting funds, discussing international treats with Aladdin, making lists of things that everyone needed for their tables, ordering them on Amazon, and keeping track of the finances and the items that were received. The Uruguayan embassy in Washington D.C, for example, sent us leaflets and posters for the table.

“The organization of this event was possible due to all the help that I have received from different people on campus,” Hernandez concluded.

 

 

 

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Refentse Maselwa
I am Refentse Maselwa but everyone calls me Ree. I am from Pretoria, South Africa. I am a sophomore majoring in Accounting and minoring in Journalism. I play field hockey. 
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