International Festival spotlights variety of cultural talent

Participants were dancing throughout the festival. Katie Alexander/ TNJN

Taking advantage of the warm spring weather Friday afternoon, hundreds of students came to Pedestrian Walkway to take part in the 26th International Festival from 10a.m.-3p.m. There were a myriad of things to do during the event, which centered around the diverse cultures represented on campus. The festival was free to attendees.

 Over eight different countries were represented during the event. Each country offered a specialty dish. Evan Durham, a freshman at UT, was taken by surprise by the food that some of the countries had to offer.

“Before today I had no idea such a thing as Korean Barbeque existed,” said Durham. “It was a lot better than I expected.” Other dishes that were available for students to enjoy included sopaipillas, a pastry  by the Latin American booth and Japanese rice balls called Onigiri.

Each booth also included activities for students to take part in. Calligraphy, the art of writing, was popular among the Chinese and Arabic countries booth. Students could have their names written out in the style and language they wanted and also practice doing it themselves. There was also a Henna Tattoo booth that was fairly popular with students throughout the event.

Many cultural talents were represented over the course of the festival. There were a total of ten events, with eight countries performing different acts including music and dance. One of the most popular performances, the African drum and dance ensemble, left a lasting impression on Jacob Adams, a junior at UT.

“The drum performance was amazing,” said Adams. “The reason I love events like this is because you don’t get to see cool stuff like that every day. I think more people should be exposed to culture stuff so that we can all realize that America’s culture isn’t the only one that exists.”

There were other performances as well that included a Chinese pop song rendition, USA breakdancing and Hip-Hop and a French dance performed by the BOSS Dance Company.

The International Festival is an annual event and was sponsored by the I-House. For more information on upcoming International House activities click here.

Edited by Jessica Carr