Festival brings global appreciation to SDSU

Ann Kopecky

Ann Kopecky

South Dakota State University students, faculty and staff as well as Brookings and surrounding community members will have the opportunity to indulge themselves in ethnic culture this Friday.

The SDSU Festival of Cultures will be held Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Frost Arena. Admission will cost $1 and is free to SDSU students with identification.

Approximately 27 different countries and cultures will be represented at the festival.

Countries and cultures represented this year will be Africa, African American, Bolivia, China, Columbia, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Kurdish, Latin America, Mexico, Morocco, Muslim, Native American, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Turkey, United States and Vietnam.

“The purpose is to provide an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to celebrate the ethnic cultures they represent,” Al Branum, director of diversity, said.

According to Branum, the festival will host three varieties of booths.

Display booths will showcase cultures, bizarre booths will sell artifacts and the food booths will sell ethnic foods.

Scheduled for the entertainment stage are:

* 9 a.m. Jerry Cooley, bagpipe player

* 9:30 a.m. David Miralles, Latin American song

* 10 a.m. SDSU international students, song and dance

* 11 a.m. Sioux Falls Mariachi Band, Latin American song

* 12:15 p.m. Jackie Bird, Native American traditional dance and songs

* 1:15 p.m. Sons of Norway, Scandinavian dance

* 2 p.m. Angie Rolling, Latin America interpretive dance

High school programs are also scheduled during the event.

A Spanish language and culture contest will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Performing Arts Center Fishback Hall.

A German language and culture contest will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Performing Arts Center lobby.

Sandy Newman, coordinator for the Festival of Cultures, added that other entertainment will be going on throughout the day.

The Indian Student Association will give a cricket demonstration on the Intramural Field from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Art in Motion members will juggle while riding unicycles in an open area in Frost Arena during the day.

Newman said that she thinks more people should attend the festival.

“I think the festival prepares people globally and provides global appreciation,” Newman said.

Branum agrees. The festival has been going on for more than 20 years. This year Branum hopes more people will attend the event.

“We usually have at least 2,500 people come to the festival and we’d love to see that double,” Branum said. “I’m confident that it will be enlightening for anyone who attends to see the variety of cultures that we have represented here and the detailed information available from those who are representing them.”

The Festival of Cultures is presented by the International Relations Club and the Office for Diversity Enhancement with sponsorship by the Students’ Association, the TriO program and the University Diversity Council.