Event represents diverse cultures

Katrina Sargent

Katrina Sargent

Bratwursts, crepes, bagpipe music and traditional American Indian dance. All of these and more can be found at the Festival of Cultures held in Frost Arena on April 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival includes a variety of food booths, information tables, music, dancing and a multicultural bazaar.

“This event will showcase different cultures, food, costumes, arts, dances, etc., from around the globe,” said Kasiviswanath Muthukumarappan, the faculty adviser for the International Relations Club. “It gives an opportunity for all the SDSU students to learn about other cultures around the world.”

“It is a chance to experience the cultures surrounding you in a culinary, visual or musical way,” said French Club advisor Marie-Pierre Baggett. “Information booths on the ground floor also provide detailed information and are staffed by experts ready to answer your questions.”

The Festival of Cultures is an event that represents diverse cultures, where people learn about many different countries and their cultures, said Karthikeyan Natarajan, the president of the International Relations Club.

This is the 26th Festival of Cultures, and this year there will be 23 food booths and 45 to 46 displays in the bazaar, said Louis Whitehead, this year’s coordinator for the festival.

“The Festival of Cultures is important because it provides a venue for SDSU students, high school students and locals to experience a broad variety of cultures, which is key to understanding and acceptance,” said Jacqueline Langland, a senior studying political science, German and history.

Whitehead expects about 3,000 people to attend; around half will be area high school students.

“The majority of people that typically attend the Festival of Cultures are high school students. However, a large number of SDSU students and community members also attend,” said Langland.

“The Festival of Cultures is important because it gives people an opportunity to come together and experience other cultures in one place,” Whitehead said.

The entertainment this year includes a variety of dancing, music and other acts. The Sons of Norway will perform Scandinavian dance, Dakota Harem will do belly dancing and tribal fusion and the Tiospa Zina Tribal School will perform Native American dance. There will also be hip-hop dancing by Young Nobles.

Other groups include the Dakota District Pipe and Drum, SDSU International Song and Dance, Dakota Jazz Collective and a juggling team, the Amazing Badubi Brothers. According to Natarajan, there will also be a fashion show representing the native dress of five to six countries. “You get a chance to know about different styles of dressing in their countries,” said Natarajan.

Other events include a poster contest for high school French, German and Spanish students.

International foods will also be offered at the Festival of Cultures. The SDSU German Club will sell bratwursts and spaghetti ice cream, the French Club will have crepes with chocolate spread and the Spanish Club plans to serve non-alcoholic daiquiris and margaritas for $1 each, as well as t-shirts.

The festival is important for these clubs because it helps them raise money and build their relationships with each other.

“What better test of an organization’s strength can be had than attempting to work together cooperatively to meet the demands of a massive amount of people?” said Langland.

The International Relations Club and the SDSU Office for Diversity Enhancement organize the Festival of Cultures. For more information, call the Office for Diversity Enhancement at 688-6361 or 688-6547.