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Annual Multicultural Fair spreads culture, food, diversity

Attendees walk through the aisles to see the different booths at the 2015 annual Multicultural Fair. (Northern Review photo/Khadijah Bagais)

Attendees walk through the aisles to see the different booths at the 2015 annual Multicultural Fair. (Northern Review photo/Khadijah Bagais)

It’s all about sharing the love. The love of diversity, that is.

Each year, ONU’s World Student Organization hosts the Multicultural Fair. The event provides students, faculty/staff and Ada-ites with a fun, engaging environment in which they can have a first-hand experience of different cultures.

This year, the event was held on April 10. For three hours the McIntosh Activities room held 15 different booths, each appealing to attendees with music, food, trinkets and/or activities. Several countries were represented at the fair, including Spain, Brazil, Panama, China, South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and India. These are just some of the many cultures that are represented on campus by students and faculty/staff.

Aaron Salwan, a WSO exec member, thought the event was a success. He felt the fair was able to increase awareness and expose attendees to cultures and peoples they had never experienced before, simply by providing this open environment.

Attendees were able to walk around to the different booths and participate in a range of activities, as well as talk to native students from those countries. Mongolia, China, and Saudi Arabia all had options for having one’s name written in the native language. These countries also had trivia and game options, where participants could win prizes.

Senior Victoria Suarez said she and her friend had been coming to the fair each year, and they felt that there was no better way for them to finish off the semester than with attending for the last time.

Suarez said that it’s really great to have events like the fair because they get more people involved, and allow them to be more knowledgeable.

“You can never learn too much, so it’s definitely a plus,” she said.

After the booths, attendees were able to head to the ballroom for performances. The performances themselves displayed a wide variety of cultures, from a Danish version of “Head, shoulders, knees and toes,” to a Chinese song, to a Brazilian dance medley, to a glimpse at what a Saudi Arabian wedding is like, to the Mexican Jarabe Tapatio dance.

With lots of clapping and many smiles, the event turned out to be a success.

Omega Hollies, International Services coordinator and co-planner of the event, said the initial planning was a little rough because they were unsure of how many people would actually participate; almost half of the booths and performers signed up within the two days before the fair. However, Hollies said all of the hard work paid off in the end.

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