As part of ESU’s Global Week, the World Fair introduced students and community members to new experiences, including foreign foods and camel rides.
The fair took place last Wednesday in the University Circle from 12 to 2 p.m.
“It was exhilarating. It was like a rush,” said senior communication major Nandi Burton about her ride on Herman the Camel. “I thought it was a once and a lifetime experience.”
Marie Murtha, a sophomore majoring in speech pathology, decided not to ride the camel, but enjoyed watching others.
“The camel brings out everyone’s inner child,” said Murtha. “Everyone wants to ride it.”
Apart from camel rides, the World Fair included other activities that kept crowds busy.
Several multicultural organizations had booths at the fair. These booths offered bingo games, foreign foods to taste and arts and crafts.
Face painting and creating flags with wishes for the world were popular at the fair. The wishes for the world flags were strung together, displaying wishes for world peace, love and happiness
Mango juice, chips and salsa and Spanish peanut polvoron, a powdery peanut treat, were among the foreign foods at the fair. Popcorn, pizza and brownies are examples of the local foods offered.
Murtha, who spent time in Africa over the summer, said the mango juice is thicker in Africa and less sweet than the sampling at the fair.
More activities enjoyed at the fair were life-size checkers, extra-large Jenga games, can jam and inflatable obstacle courses.
Midway through the fair, members of ESU’s Step Team performed.
“I liked that the Step Team incorporated several genders and showed off different movements of the world,” said Murtha.
The Step Team also performed later Wednesday night at Our Ancestor’s Legacy Through the Arts, another Global Week event that taught the origins of step dancing and gospel music.
“The fair shows quite a diversity. I’m definitely happy I came here,” said junior accounting major Andrew Graffis, who had a tree painted on his right cheek. “The story of the Congolese child was interesting, too.”
The event Graffis mentioned, The Journey of a Congolese Child, took place during the World Fair.
It followed the true story of Ishara, a young Congolese girl struggling to support herself and her family in a country targeted by genocide.
The goal of this interactive museum was to spread awareness about the Congolese genocide through art and Ishara’s story.
The Congolese are currently being attacked, exploited and forced to participate in the illegal mining of their country’s minerals, including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. These minerals are then smuggled into other countries and sold for millions of dollars.
But, the Congolese do not reap the benefits. Instead, they face death, rape, malnutrition and witchcraft accusations.
“An estimated 5.4 million Congolese people have died since 1998, and as many as 45,000 continue to die every month,” according to the International Rescue Committee in 2007, which was cited on a handout from The Journey of a Congolese Child.
There are over two million internally displaced persons since March 2015 because of the genocide, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, also cited on the handout.
To donate and help the Congolese and others living in poverty, visit empoweringlives.org/donate.
Whether increasing awareness of international issues, learning about international culture or simply enjoying a camel ride, Global Week brought it all to the campus community.
“I know not everybody goes to everything,” said Fernando Alcantar, associate director of student engagement at ESU and a main organizer of Global Week, “so I made sure there was something for everybody throughout the week. From athletic to intellectual to spiritual and more.”
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