Monday, November 18, 2013

International Festival brings cultural exhibits and performances to UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield presented the 36th annual International Festival with the theme “Passport to the World” on November 15, 2013. The festival featured cultural exhibits, artistic performances, food tasting, and more.

“I think it’s great because here on campus we don’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase our culture and our food,” said Afua Amoabin, a junior biology major.

Amoabin was one of the many students who performed at the festival as part of 3 hours of live entertainment. She also took time to explore the festival and compare her culture to others.

“I think sometimes you can get stuck in our own comfort zone and what we’re used to and sometimes it’s just nice to see stuff through other people’s shoes or even through their plates,” she said.

Management Information Systems major Kartik Kaurav came to the United States from India. For him, it was nice to experience a taste of home, while learning about other cultures.

“Look at these paintings, the food, the spices,” said Kaurav in surveying the festival.

The International Festival is the longest running annual event on the UIS campus. As the international population has grown at UIS, the festival has followed.

“UIS is growing drastically diverse, so it’s important that we acknowledge that and we take advantage of events like this one,” said Jaime Cruz, a senior English major.

Countries and organizations represented this year included African countries, China, India, Ireland, Peru, Turkey, Scotland and more. Ethnic dishes were provided by The Holy Land Diner, Dynasty Asian Cuisine, Hunan Chinese Restaurant, Osaka, La Fiesta, Xochimilico, Olive Garden, and more.

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