By Latara Holloway
Students and staff gathered for a night of fun, food and music at the International Festival on April 23. International Student Association, International Student Involvement and Housing and Residence Life hosted the event meant to inform the AUM community to learn about the different cultures represented here at the university. Students were given a passport at the door and were encouraged to stop by each individual country table. Kuwait, Sudan, Mexico, Brazil and Haiti were just a few of the countries represented at the event. Most tables shared food, drinks and more information about their countries to share with guests.
This was freshman Omar Brito Estrado’s first time at International Fest. “I see a lot of excitement and a lot of people helping out,” Estrado said. “You have people coming to help you and talking to you, it’s great.” Estrado managed the Mexico table and brought different candy and food such as horchata and cuchara, arts and crafts, and an informational power point to share.
Brazilian exchange student Thiago Silva enjoyed sharing his country with others. “There are a lot of countries here represented by students and we feel comfortable with everybody and we want to show a little bit from Brazil” Silva said. He and two other students represented Brazil and shared fudge truffles called brigadeiro. “Students really like the things we brought from Brazil, Silva added. “I think people really like Brazil. It shows a lot of our cultures. The diversity here at AUM. It helps to share our culture here with people.”
American students who participate to the event were also happy about being able to experience different cultures.
“I think it’s a great event for people who don’t get used to other countries foods,” said senior student Helen Bellingheri. “In Alabama, we don’t have a lot of diverse restaurants with different cultures and stuff. This is a great way to introduce people to it with like sampling. This opens your eyes to how other people’s countries are.”
Even after the food ran out, guests were kept entertained with live music from the Dueling Pianos. Guests danced the night away to renditions of hits such as “Uptown Funk,” “All About That Bass,” “Proud Mary” and more.