International House hosts International Festival, gives UT community taste of different cultures

UT’s International House invited the UT community to experience different cultures on Friday, Sept. 29.

The University of Tennessee’s International House invited students, faculty and member of the Knoxville community to experience different cultures at the International Festival on Pedestrian Walkway at UT’s campus on Friday, Sept. 29.

International organizations across campus prepared traditional dishes, traditional artifacts and more. There were a variety of performances including Martial Arts, ballroom dancing, traditional Asian dancing and K-Pop routines.

Patrice Dansby, a UT junior, shared how she looks forward to the International Festival every year.

“I really enjoy the many different performances each year,” she said. “Last year I really loved the African drummers.”

Many of the organizations who participated in the festival hoped they could both share a small part of their culture with the university with traditional foods and music, and educate on the history of their country.

Sophomore Sara Hawrami participated in the festival on behalf of Kurdistan. Hawrami, along with other Kurdish students, sold traditional Kurdish dishes, in which all proceeds go to a non-profit organization that helps refugees. Hawrami said that she aspires to create a Kurdish student association by next semester.

“We wanted to show our pride that we are American, but we are also Kurdish at the same time,” she said.

Aside from campus organizations, other businesses and non-profits from the Knoxville area also participated in the festival. Ryan Gustin, an employee of CSX Transportation, a railroad company, represented Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit that raises awareness for railroad safety.

“One of the surprising things to learn is about every three hours we have somebody getting hit by a train somewhere here in the country, and so we are doing our part to try to get that number down to zero,” he said.

For more information on upcoming events at the International House, visit their website.

Featured Image by Arial Starks

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo