International Groups Celebrate

Some cultural artifacts from the festival. Photo Courtesy / Ayana Jones
Some cultural artifacts from the festival. Photo Courtesy / Ayana Jones
Some cultural artifacts from the festival.
Photo Courtesy / Ayana Jones

By Ayana Jones
SC Contributing Writer

The International Student Organization (ISO) Festival, which took place Saturday April 25, had a great turn out this year as students from different cultural backgrounds gathered to celebrate.

The festival served as a way for international students to have the opportunity to share their culture with students, faculty, and families in attendance.

The event itinerary was full with dance performances, speakers, information tables, instruments, and food. Families came to show support for all of the foreign students who participated.

Daniel Watson, a freshman and Student Senate member, hosted the event.

He said, “The festival is a very nice event, lots of diversity, and full of different ethnicities. Aalih Hussein did a great job with the hennas. Also, Zheng Hu did an excellent job bringing a piece of Chinese culture to ESU with his Chinese writing.”

Students dressed in bright multicultural attire representative of their country of origin and paraded around the University Center, where this year’s festival took place.

Flags were hung around the room to represent the over 30 countries with members in attendance.

Binetou Fall, a student from Senegal, said the festival served as a means to “bring the world to ESU and raise awareness of the foreign student population.”

Some students were excited to participate in this year’s event for a second time. Gabriella Gabriel, a Haitian student and vice president of the International Student Organization explained, “This event is meant for people at ESU to be able to interact with international students. Today we are representing about 30 countries. We have Caribbean food, African food, Chinese food, and more.”

The major goal of holding the ISO festival was to expand unity while raising global cultural awareness. Several different speakers reiterated the importance of diversity on campus
throughout the evening.

Though there were several students who had attended previous year’s festivals, this year’s ISO festival was a first time experience for many families and students. Brina Marcellus, freshman at ESU said, “This is my first ISO event, and it is truly a great experience.”

As the International Student Organization continues to expand, the ultimate goal is to increase the cultural awareness for foreign students on campus. As our foreign students have the opportunity to share some of their culture with the student body, ESU will continue to become a more enriched and diverse university.

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