The seventh annual fare featured 19 of IU’s cultural organizations and groups in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall.
Groups represented include the Pakistani Students Association, the African Student Association and the Thai Student Association, among others.
Groups provided native dishes, performances and insights into the many cultures represented on this diverse campus.
Sandy Britton, associate director for International Student Life and one of the main planners of the event, said international student groups are at the heart of the event.
“(The goal is) to bring all of the international student groups together to collaborate in a way that they can showcase their countries, foods and performances,” Britton said.
One change to the event this year was the addition of a stand for the United States of America, a change inspired in part by collaboration with the Union Board.
“This country is, after all, part of the world,” Britton said.
Kelsey Padgham, junior and the Cultural Events director for the Union Board, said the fare serves the IU student community in many ways.
“(The event) gives students the opportunity to explore different cultures, learn more about groups and, most importantly, have fun,” Padgham said.
Padgham has participated in some way in the event for two and a half years now and expressed sadness over the fact that this year will be her last due to impending international travel.
Gulhayo Kobilova, an exchange student and member of the Uzbek Students and Scholars Association, said a little bit about her culture while adorned in traditional wedding dress.
“Our booth is unique with showing all parts of culture, not just weddings, not just clothes,” Kobilova said.
Kobilova said in Uzbek weddings, the bride and groom are not separated, and there is an emphasis on their friendship and existence as a pair.
She said the bride receives an uncut piece of silk from her mother, which will be passed on to future brides of the family for generations to come.
Padgham said another major change from last year’s event is the move from Assembly Hall, where the fare was last year, back to its “home” in Alumni Hall, the place where the fare was originally held.
The groups participating and planners were not the only ones involved in the festival.
The students attending made the event possible, and Britton said steady streams of students attended throughout the event.
A ticket to the event entitled the spectator to eight food items from the various stalls as well as the chance to see a few of the groups involved perform live.
Briana Willis, a sophomore member of the Culture and Events committee headed by Padgham, appreciated the flair her committee put into the event.
Each group participating in the event submits recipes ahead of time to the Union Board, who passes it on to the caterers at the IMU. The caterers then prepare large amounts of the dish for the fare.
The performers at the event often spend months preparing for their respective acts.
Luo Rong, a junior and member of the Malaysian Students Association, has been in the club for three years now and said he has been extensively practicing his dance for this year.
Rong said he hopes that what students take away from his organization’s booth is “the Malaysian culture.”
Padgham said she would like to thank everyone at the Office of International Students and Britton, who co-planned the event alongside Padgham and the Union Board.
Padgham said she would also like to thank the Union Board for their support, especially her “awesome committee.”
Follow reporter Sanya Ali on Twitter @siali13.
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