International Festival allows graduates to display culture

The University of Tennessee’s Pedestrian Walkway was transformed into an educational voyage around the world on Friday, Sept. 26 for the annual International Festival. Participants included various student groups along with the school’s foreign language clubs. These groups represented their countries through food, dance, music and other traditional activities. Admission was free, but the food and crafts were for sale.

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Student organizations of all different cultures came together to display their plethora of talents at this year's International Festival.
Student organizations of all different cultures came together to display their plethora of talents at this year’s International Festival.

The University of Tennessee’s Pedestrian Walkway was transformed into an educational voyage around the world on Friday, Sept. 26 for the annual International Festival. Participants included various student groups along with the school’s foreign language clubs. These groups represented their countries through food, dance, music and other traditional activities. Admission was free, but the food and crafts were for sale. All of the proceeds benefited the student organizations.

Many students continue to participate in the festival each year even after graduation.

Abdulmajeed Altalhia, a recent graduate and participate at the Saudi Arabia booth, was one of these students that wished to show Americans that there is more to his represented country than often comes to mind.

“It’s a good time to show the American people our culture,” said Altalhia. “When people hear ‘Saudi Arabia’, they think of deserts and camels. Actually we have many industries and international companies. We have good universities too.”

At the Bangladesh booth, another recent graduate, Fahmida Tulip, also hoped to teach students about the country she loved.

“Ours is a small country, so not many people know our name,” said Tulip. “It’s a chance for me to represent my country and the University of Tennessee. That is why I participate every year.”

UT students were extremely supportive of the festival which remained busy all day long. The Italian booth began with multitudes of home-made goods, but even they were running low on food to sell by the last hour of the event.

If you want to view more international events at UT, visit the International House’s website by clicking here.

Video by Brianna Bivens

Edited by Jessica Carr