Festival of Cultures generates diverse student awareness

Leonardo Silva

Leonardo Silva

After hosting the Jacks’ win over Indiana by the women’s basketball team on Thursday, Frost Arena transformed overnight. Hoops were lifted, booths were put in place and the sea of blue and yellow was replaced with the colors of 48 of the world’s countries during the 25th annual SDSU Festival of Cultures.

The event, which went from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 23, was a combination of informational and merchandise booths, food from the countries represented and live performances including Native American dance and a mariachi band.

Obviously, the annual event has seen great advancements from its’ humble beginnings in the Volstorff Ballroom and it won’t stop growing. This year’s attendance, according to Diane Nagy of the Office for Diversity Enhancements, reached more than 2,700, an improvement over last year’s attendance of 2,500. But the extra numbers didn’t throw the event’s message off track. The festival’s theme, “Neighbors in a Global Village,” was meant to show people that we are all here together, no matter our background or culture.

“I’d hope that students, if they didn’t have it already, would take away a greater awareness of different cultures,” said Louis Whitehead, co-coordinator for the festival. “Regardless of where other people come from … we have our differences and similarities … I hope that people learn to reach out and interact with each other more and develop a greater understanding of each other.”

#1.883594:3031846474.jpg:festivalofculturesnorwaybooth.tm.jpg:Attendants at the Norway booth greet a student at the annual Festival of Cultures on March 23.:Troy Miller