Thursday, February 2, 2023

Event goes around the world for U

November 16, 2000

From India to Pakistan, Taiwan to Egypt, visitors can explore Global Festival 2000 on Sunday at the Union.

Students from dozens of countries will share their cultures. The festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

“I think people have misconceptions about those from other countries,” said Lois Clark, Global festivities co-chairperson. “This is a good way to provide an interaction between Americans and the international community at MSU.”

Nearly 2,800 international students attend the university, and the festival will showcase a sampling of 24 individual countries’ and three regional groups’ unique cultures.

“This is the biggest festival of this type in this area, and it is in its 15th year,” Clark said. “A number of American students have enjoyed working with the international community and sharing the cultures in preparation for this.

“The very goal has been that we have been able to talk directly to people from other countries and learn something from their cultures. We hope the public will come and join us, and we look forward to sharing the cultures of these many countries with the community.”

The festival will kick off with Korean drummers and an international fashion parade. International students will then participate in more than four hours of performances in cultural arts, such as Tae Kwan Do, Chinese Opera and Greek/Cypriot dances, as well as exhibits and demonstrations about their countries’ cultures.

Peter Zhang, a physics doctoral student, will be the master of ceremonies for the Chinese group and perform a piece from Peking Opera.

And for some groups, the exhibition section of the festival will offer hands-on activities.

There will be Chinese paper-cutting, Chinese calligraphy and a gentlemen playing erhu, a traditional instrument, and teaching a session for those who want to learn to play.

The festival also offers international games and activities, for instance, an opportunity to learn the Philippine dance, the “Tinikling,” a Hungarian puppet show and a learning session to craft an Origami bird.

Local ethnic restaurants have donated gifts, and drawings will be held during intermissions. An international buffet, featuring food from around the world, will be open from noon to 3 p.m.

Zhang said the festival offers international students and the community a good opportunity to learn more about other cultures and spread their own cultural knowledge.

“For the Chinese and others, the festival is a good way to introduce our own culture to other students and community members,” Zhang said.

Last year the Global Festival attracted nearly 6,000 people.

The festival is sponsored by the Union Activities Board and Community Volunteers for International Programs.

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