"Embracing the World as One"

BY ELLIE GERST | the Statesman 1782577_842684579092047_1038081523_oFeast of Nations is coming back to UMD for a night of celebrating cultural diversity on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. in UMD’s ballroom.

“It’s a cultural event where we have various different types of food and performances from different countries,” International Club’s public relations specialist, Thomas Thao, said.

Feast of Nations is a popular event put on by UMD’s International Club and is open to all UMD students and faculty as well as the rest of the community.  The event is executed completely by UMD students. Last year the event sold out with 400 seats. The night consists of dinner held in UMD’s ballroom followed by multicultural performances in the Marshall Performing Arts center (MPAC).

“The thing that I’m really excited about for Feast of Nations is seeing new things,” International Club’s media specialist, Chanraksar Wat, said.  “Every year there's always something new, something different.  We always have a mixture of things from all over the world.”

1956828_842684969092008_1075242466_oThe buffet-style dinner, put on by UMD Catering, will serve foods from the Middle East, South America, Europe and China.  During dinner attendees will be able to enjoy a fashion show, which will showcase different outfits and garments from a wide range of cultures.  There will also be a photobooth available for guests to use.

“We want to create an environment where people will interact and we want people to try to learn and understand other cultures,” Wat said.

After dinner guests will move from the ballroom to the MPAC where they will watch students perform various cultural shows, including Korean pop, Bollywood and African dance.

“I’ve attended basically every year since I’ve been here,” UMD student Elmer Yang said.  “I like the cultural performances. It’s really exciting to see stude1655773_841857239174781_641860854_onts come together and perform dances or sing or show other talents.  The thing is, if they were to do an Indian dance it wouldn’t just be Indian people. The performers would be all kinds of people.”

Last year Yang and his friends started a flash mob at the show which ended up with about 30 people filling the MPAC stage.

“It happened at the end of the show and we were just dancing,” Yang said.  “It was actually spontaneous but it just came together. I twerked.”

Alive with the energy of good interaction and colorful stimulation, the goal is to it cultivate acceptance and knowledge of other cultures. This year the theme is: “Embracing the World as One.”


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