MSMS Hosts First Annual International Culture Fair

Henna+tattoos+were+a+hit+at+India%27s+booth.
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MSMS Hosts First Annual International Culture Fair

Henna tattoos were a hit at India's booth.

Henna tattoos were a hit at India's booth.

Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

Henna tattoos were a hit at India's booth.

Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

Henna tattoos were a hit at India's booth.

Davan Reece, Staff Writer

Elijah Dosda
Students partake in the traditional Swedish activity Tis a Maypole.

MSMS is sometimes referred to as “the most diverse square block in Mississippi,” and last weekend, it showed that diversity at the First Annual International Culture Fair.

Organized by members of MSMS’s Asian Student Association, the First Annual International Culture Fair invited students and community members from all over to participate in a display of diverse cultures, opening the eyes of attendees to a variety of lifestyles.

“Our goal of hosting this fair is to both be inclusive and increase awareness to other cultures,” said organizer Gina Nguyen. “With MSMS being such a diverse melting pot, we felt that ICF could really expose people to cultures they may not have considered otherwise.”

Elijah Dosda
MUW student Biraj Adhikari plays his guitar and sings a Nepali song.

“It wasn’t quite as big as I hoped, but we weren’t that organized. It was our first year putting on such a big project, and I feel that the community feedback was great,” Nguyen continued. “We had students, community members and hosts of other people. It seemed like they really enjoyed it. I am really excited to get more students involved, represent more countries and get more people from the Columbus and Starkville areas to attend.”

“It was a blast seeing so many cultures represented, I guess broadening my horizons while at home,” said junior Elijah Dosda. “The food was delicious, and everyone was so enthused about the countries they were representing. The performances were absolutely amazing. I really loved Helen Peng’s China table and Elle Smith’s Denmark table. She was so enthusiastic and had a motivational book about how people of Denmark live their lives.”

“I think ICF would be made better by trying to ingrain it more into Columbus as a whole,” Dosda said. “It’s good enough to get more involved in the community and look forward to seeing it grow. I think this should be an MSMS tradition.”

Courtesy of Reggie Zheng
Students continue to dance after the scheduled performances.

ICF was full of multiple activities for festival attendees. Cameron Thomas was particularly intrigued by the variety of ethnic foods present. “Before going to ICF, I never ate foreign food,” Thomas said. “Both the food and the festival was very enlightening. It taught me to try new things more often. We played đá cầu, also known as foot badminton. It was so fun, even though we weren’t playing correctly, and I know this is kind of biased because I love mac and cheese, but I really loved Sweden’s table.”

“I feel like especially in a state like Mississippi that people need to be exposed to different cultures,” Thomas said. “Since MSMS is so diverse, I believe that we should share some of that with the community.”

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  • Teachers Elizabeth Morgan and Lori Pierce enjoy the festival.

  • Simeon Gates helps out with Iroquois's booth.

  • Caleb Colley, Devin Chen, and Garret Wells serve food at Russia's booth.

  • Gina Nguyen and Hua Chen presents VIetnam's booth.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Eleven countries from around the world were represented at the festival.

    Katelyn Booker

  • Ashruti Pant draws intricate henna designs.

    Katelyn Booker

  • Peter Nguyen, Catherine Min, Clara Grady, and Lilian Le strike a pose at the end of their dance.

  • Bryonie Mandal dances to an Indian song.

  • MUW student Biraj Adhikari plays his guitar and sings a Nepali song.

  • Students partake in the traditional Swedish activity Tis a Maypole.

  • Students continue to dance after the scheduled performances.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Talle Wilson and Tyler Branch dances.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Elle Smith serves food from Denmark.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Victoria Waller enjoys her shrimp chips.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • India's representatives explain the carrom board.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Liz Huynh plays "đá cầu," which is known as a form of hacky sack or foot badminton.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • In east Asian culture, lucky red envelopes are given out during New Year's to wish others happiness and prosperity.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Aja Ceesay describes traditional foods from the Gambia to guests.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Likhitha Polepali dances to an Indian song.

  • Lori Pierce and David Hesson perform a German song.

  • Helen Peng recites a poem she wrote about China.

  • Violet Jira and Morgan Emokpae give a performance in Edo and Swahili.

  • As the festival came to an end, students jammed out.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Catherine Min, Lilian Le, Peter Nguyen, and Clara Grady danced to a medley of popular Korean pop songs.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Crowds gather as the lineup of performances begin.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • China's representatives demonstrate Chinese calligraphy.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Henna tattoos were a hit at India's booth.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Binta Fadiga, Alicia Argrett, and Violet Jira pose in their traditional African clothing.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Students line up to make bibimbap, a Korean dish.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Advaith Sunil, Likhitha Polepalli, and Indu Nandula serve many traditional Indian dishes.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • Sarena Patel and Helen Peng hand out fried rice, dumplings, and pastries at China's booth.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

  • MUW students show support for MSMS at the festival.

    Courtesy of Reggie Zheng

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