The Northwestern International Club will be hosting their annual Cultural Fair in the Rowenhorst Student Center 4 court area from 5 – 7 p.m. The price of admission for NW students is $2, plus a meal swipe, which covers the entire evening of food and entertainment.
I-Club’s yearly event has been a long-standing tradition at NW, beginning in the 1980s. This year’s Cultural Fair has been named We Are the World, and it has much to offer its attendees, including food, activity booths and a show. International students will be showcasing their culinary skills with 12 different recipes they’ve chosen from their home countries. Campus dining opens up its kitchen tonight so the I-Club members can work together as they cook their favorite dishes, including desserts, to share at the fair tomorrow.
Activity booths will be set up and run by I-Club members where participants can take part in games like the Chopsticks Challenge and get henna tattoos. The grand finale of the night will be the show, which features different cultural presentations of song and dance. An additional element to the show this year will be the Japanese students who are here as a part of the Winter English Program. They are excited to contribute a piece of their culture to the event with a traditional Japanese dance and a judo demonstration. This show is a highlight for many students who attend the Cultural Fair, including I-Club president Nnenna Nwaelugo.
“I just love to see the variety of talent that so many of the people close to me possess,” Nwaelugo said. “There are so many people that I didn’t even know could sing or dance until I watched them prepare for this event.”
This part of the evening where students showcase their skills and share the uniqueness of their culture is impactful for many.
Associate Dean of Intercultural Development Kevin McMahan provides some perspective saying, “Most of the time, students from other cultures are figuring out how to adapt to being here. This is an opportunity for the local community to experience things that are different, interesting and enjoyable.”
Members of I-Club get the chance to share with their fellow students what many may not know about where they’re from, and the rest of the study body is able to “step into someone else’s experience and leave home for a little bit,” as McMahan says.
Nwaelugo also emphasizes this, saying the importance of this event is “appreciation for cultures different from yours. You get to see what so many of your friends and classmates love so much about their homes.”