Festival showcases diversity

First-year Nima Lama performs a traditional Nepalese dance during an intermission act of the international fashion show. The event featured diverse student models and performances throughout the night.//Photo by Fernando Jiménez/The Guilfordian

From the Middle East to Europe, Latin America and Africa, Guilford College’s International Festival provided students and faculty the opportunity to celebrate Guilford’s diversity and learn about a variety of cultures.

The International Festival was hosted by the International Club on Wednesday, March 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Quad. It is an annual event at Guilford, hosted in the spring.

The festival featured tables set up by students that represented cultures from different parts of the world, such as Nigeria, Guatemala, Vietnam, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Along with showcasing different cultures, there was a performance by Guilford’s a cappella group, Friend Sings My Mind, and beginner lessons on Samba dancing.

“I feel like there’s so many little communities on campus that you really don’t get the time and other chances to mingle and know what’s happening outside of our little bubble,” said English major and senior Precious Adisa.

The International Festival provided attendees with an opportunity to speak in different languages with native speakers.

“I got to talk to someone from Brazil and it was cool to speak Portuguese with someone because I don’t get to do that everyday,” said Early College student Matheus Ferreira.

Many of the tables set up had different foods that represented the cultures of their country, such as Chinese rice crackers and Mexican candy.

The festival also had free food from five international restaurants in the Greensboro area for attendees to try. The International Festival was open to all students, faculty and staff members.

“I think it is fabulous to have the culture and food of places,” said Professor of Economics Rob Williams. “And I just had a Palestinian dessert, kanafeh, and I remember having it when I was visiting Palestine. I went to a French school and all of that, and so it reminded me of being in Palestine and it was great.”

In addition to food, culture and language, the International Festival also had jewelry for attendees to purchase.

“I met a woman from Ecuador and her family makes jewelry, and my wife’s birthday is coming up, … so I bought a necklace, a beautiful necklace with beautiful stones,” said Williams.

The International Festival was a chance for Guilford students to share their language and culture with their peers and educate them about a specific country or ethnic group.

“I knew that Guatemala is not really a big group in this area. It’s only like one or two of us,” said sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez. “So I wanted the community of Guilford to still know about us and know that there’s more to Central America than Mexico than most people really think.”

The International Festival was an opportunity for the Guilford community to celebrate diversity, multiculturalism and inclusiveness.

“This is a chance to share our culture,” said first-year Hsar Wei. “It’s really good for international students to be able to share their culture and represent themselves.”