In one night, you can watch Indian Raas dance performances, eat West African Jollof rice and meet the Brazilian Student Organization at IU, all without leaving a central spot on campus.
At 6 p.m. this Friday at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union, large swaths of visitors watched 11 different dance performances, chose from 24 different food options and interacted with 23 different cultural groups on campus at the IU World’s Fare.
This was the 13th celebration of the IUWF.
Huizhong Wu, a Starr Fellow at the Office of International Services and the co-coordinator of this year’s world fare, explained the night’s festivities.
“IU World’s Fare is Indiana University’s premier international event where people get a chance to try food from across the globe, engage with cultures through interactive activities hosted by international student organizations and enjoy stunning cultural performances,” Wu said.
The IUWF is organized by the Office of International Services with the Union Board, co-coordinated by director of comedy and entertainment Seth Blunt. It also receives support from the Hoosier Experience and the Bloomington Academic Advisory Council.
After checking in, visitors received a brochure with a “passport.” As they learned about different student groups on campus, visitors received stamps or “visas” that could later be traded in for one food item.
While dance performances cycled on and off the stage performing to some popular songs by artists like Beyoncé and DaBaby, the members of student cultural organizations led demonstrations and activities.
Among some of the student organizations present were the Thai Student Association, the Latinos Unidos at IU, the Filipino American Association and the Asian American Association.
Audrey Lee is a freshman at IU and an executive member of the Asian American Association. She helped to set up her organization’s booth at the fare and commented on the value of celebrating multiple cultures in one space.
“I think it’s a really good way for all of the cultural organizations to come together because I’m seeing a lot of people that I’ve never seen before,” Lee said. “A lot of other cultural organizations are gaining exposure to the other culture groups that we have on campus.”
This event attracted not only IU students and faculty, but also families and members of the greater Bloomington community.
Wu, the co-coordinator, is a graduate student from China. She commented on the gratification of bringing to life an event only made possible through the hard work of supporters, student organizations and dance performers alike.
“The planning process is not easy, but I enjoyed it, especially working with Union Board and the student organizations,” Wu said. “Attendees all have a chance to try something original tonight.”
Looking around the room, Lee reflected on the masses of people eating, talking, smiling and learning.
“It’s really nice to see everyone come together for this event,” Lee said.
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