Photos around Campus

The First International Festival 2008

International Festival 2008
by Benjamin M. Brown ’10
Vice President, International Club

Though the weather was dreary outside, the atmosphere inside Crawley Forum on Thursday, April 3, was alive with the sounds, sights, and smells of the International Club’s first International Festival. In partnership with Sweet Briar’s Nations United, the two-hour-long event was designed to promote international awareness on campus as well as to encourage donations to underprivileged children in Honduras. Ten countries were represented at the festival including Chile, China, Ecuador, France, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Nepal, Peru, and Vietnam. Guests were invited to peruse the different tables representing each nation and to indulge themselves in the cultural offerings.

From flags to Indian sweets, there was a wide array of internationally themed trinkets and presentations. At the China table, FulbrightScholar Ran Guo (right) painted calligraphy representing the Chinese symbol for whatever word visitors requested. Video slideshows through the landscapes of East Asian countries gave guests a vivid view into the homeland of Bikash Acharya ’09 and Chetan Rupaketi ’09 who hail from Nepal. Andrew McLeod ’08 and Basil Panton ’11 showed the Jamaican culture through picture displays as did Donal Mullan, an exchange student from Northern Ireland with the British Education Initiative, at his Ireland table.

After guests ate and browsed the international tables, the much anticipated performances began after a brief introduction from International Club President Achhunna Mali ’08. Professor Kevin Dunn played the bagpipes as guests watched his march across the balcony on the second floor. Achhunna and Bikash combined their musical talents to play classical Nepalese music followed by a solo by Achhunna playing The Jimi Henrix Experience’s title song, which has and continues to influence Nepalese musicians. Basil read a poem and talked about the origin of Jamaican Patois. Miguel Mogollon ’10 danced meringue with Tania Salas Platt of Nations United. Uma Mayer of the University of Virginia performed a breathtaking traditional Indian dance as the last performance of the night. All together, the performances were dazzling, each impressive in its own respect.

The International Club thanks everyone who participated and especially those who came to the event and donated to a wonderful cause. The earlier Honduras Clothes Drive was also a success thanks to contributions from very gracious individuals including those at the festival. As the club continues to organize more humanitarian efforts, it encourages others to get involved as well.

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