By Peggy Diaco
Last Wednesday the sun was shining down on ESU for the World Fair in University Circle to help celebrate ESU Global week.
Fernando Alcantar, along with 25 faculty, staff and students have been meeting since last October to plan this event. The World Fair was representative of people on and off campus, from many departments and countries in a grand display of diversity.
A camel, a yak, rabbits and a llama were just some of the animals available for students to see close up and pet. They belong to an organization called Peaceable Kingdom where Charis Matey is an employee.
“Percy the camel was purchased from a zoo in Virginia when he was only a baby,” said Matey
That might explain the camel’s joy and comfort with being petted.
Michael Naunczek, an Exercise Science senior was petting the camel and Percy hugged him affectionately and nuzzled his neck.
Born during a storm in New Jersey, the Yak’s name is Thunder. The deer is named Taffy and the Llama, Tresemme’ like the shampoo according to Matey.
International student, Rui Li represented China, her home country along with visiting scholar Xiu Fen Liu, and Chinese professor Chao Yu at a colorful table with traditional Chinese masks.
They were teaching students how to create their own Chinese name while Grad student, Wen Xiao Shang and friends danced around the circle in a vibrant Chinese dragon costume.
Decorating carnival masks was the theme of the table representing Brazil.
“I wanted to represent a country that not too many people know about,” said Eric Firestone, a senior and computer science major. He is also president of the Commuter Club on campus.
Jordan Allen, a senior with a business management major was representing the LGBTQA table. Visitors to the table could spin a wheel with trivia questions and if they could not answer the question, Jordan would explain the answer.
The LGBTQA club also erected a touching tribute to all of the men and women who were shot and killed in the gay nightclub, Pulse in Orlando, Florida. This creative display was set up on the front lawn of University Circle.
A photo of each person with their name was staked in the ground. An artistic heart created with rainbow streamers with a pulse in the middle stood as a remembrance to those who lost their lives.
Lourdes O’Kane, executive office manager of student affairs displayed the artful fabric of the Igorot tribe from the Cordillera mountain region of the Philippines. She also gave away free samples of a Filipino dessert that she made called cassava that is made from the yucca plant. It was sweet with the texture of a flan.
Rose Blanc, a sophomore, was among the people crowding around Lourdes’s table. Blanc was born in the Philippines and came to America when she was seven.
“I know some Filipino recipes, but I need to learn more,” said Blanc.
Enrollment services cooked up some delicious international food for their table for everyone to sample.
Kizzy Morris made Callaloo soup from St. Vincent’s island in the Caribbean, Leyla Paz made arroz con leche, a rice pudding dessert and Diana Badillo made Puerto Rican beans and rice.
Sign Language Club members, Kaley Jackson, a senior and Jordan Ruby, a junior, displayed
information regarding the correlation between listening to loud music and hearing loss.
“Listening to loud music can affect your hearing now and in the future,” said Jackson.
“Taking precautions now will prevent hearing loss later,” said Ruby.
A wonderful display of step dance was performed by step team club Explosion on the stage. Mauria Febbraro is the president of the club and she said that the club has been performing at ESU since 2008.,
“The club is a mixed blend of students with different majors, but they all have an interest in dance.” said Febbraro.
Several tribes of American indigenous people were also at the event with impressive displays of crafts, furs, tools and a teepee that they erected that morning.
Claudia Haddad of the Mi’Kmaq tribe of New Brunswick, Canada, was beading a colorful yoke that is women’s traditional wear for pow wows. She said that she has been working on it sporadically for five years.
Patrick Little Wolf Brooks of the Tuscarora tribe from upstate N.Y. demonstrated a war dance. He is a U.S. veteran who spent three tours in Iraq and was medically discharged.
Brooks also played the flute and explained how a flute is used to woo a woman in his tribe.
“Women are the leaders in our tribe and if you are interested in a woman, you would carve a flute to impress her,” said Brooks.
He played a song on the flute that he wrote for his wife before he even knew her name.
“In our native language we only have words for ‘us’ and ‘we’ to prevent society from dividing us,” said Brooks. “Black, red, yellow and white, the only race is the human race.”
A rare warm, sunny day in early April and the coming together of ESU’s diverse population helped to make World Fair during Global week a success.
Email Peggy at: