Variety of cultural events part of UI International Fair

BY EMILY BURDS | MARCH 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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A passport will transport people around the world to taste empanadas and learn to speak Romanian — just a few of the cultural events that will be represented at the first-ever Campus Activities Board International Fair.

The fair will be held at 9 p.m. today in the Currier multipurpose room. Admission is a free and open to the public.

Campus Activities Board Cultural Committee Director Katherine Dove came up with the idea with the help of committee members at the beginning of the school year.

“One of our members had seen one in her hometown, and we thought it was a great thing for the cultural committee to do,” Dove said. “So we started searching through OrgSync to find all the cultural organizations on campus to get in contact with them.”

OrgSync is the online university database holding information about every campus organization, including contact information. Organizations can be searched by category and field of interest.
Dove used the information to contact to more than 40 student organizations. Today, 11 will participate in the fair.

Jessica Padilla, the president of the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead, said her organization wanted to be a part of an event that promoted cultural awareness.

“As a Latino organization, we strive to ‘culturalize’ people about the variety of countries our organization represents in our Latino community on campus and that it is not just made up of the stereotypical ‘Mexican’ ethnicity,” Padilla said.

The group’s booth will feature Chile, from which a few of the group’s new members originate.

“We have new members that are from Chile, and we thought it would be a great way to culture others about a different Latin country as well as learn about [our members’] home country of Chile,” Padilla said.

Dove wanted to host a variety of organizations and cultures at the event.

“We really wanted to get a variety of countries and regions involved to really make it international,” she said. “We have the [American Indian Student Association] organization coming to share its knowledge of Native American culture.”

The Romanian Culture Organization will also participate in the event, a group headed by President Angela Dani. She hopes to raise awareness and possibly gain new members.

“[The fair] allows students to become aware of what some cultural differences are out there,” Dani said. “The booth will feature a traditional Romanian dessert called Salam de Biscuiti, as well as some information on the Romanian language and traditions.”

Dove said the original goal was to give the organizations some opportunities to gain new members and get their information out to students. However, it took another form when the Cultural Committee continued to brainstorm.

The committee decided representing the cultures with food, language, and music was the best way for organizations to present themselves and educate people.

The event this evening will include activities to get people involved, including a game of language Bingo, in which people visit the booths and learn a piece of the language to try to win. A passport may be stamped by each booth once students have completed an activity related to that culture. Both games involve prizes for the winner.

Nothing is certain about the future of this event,.

“I’m a senior, so what happens next year is out of my hands,” Dove said, “But we are training new executives this week, and I hope to strongly encourage them to continue to consider this event.”

What: Campus Activities Board International Fair
When: 9 p.m. today
Where: Currier multipurpose room
Admission: Free and open to the public

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