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ISA to hold largest cultural event of semester

Pittsburg State University students and Pittsburg community members will have the opportunity to experience cultures and cuisines from around the world without leaving the city. 

Pitt State’s International Student Association (ISA) will host their annual International Food & Culture Fair on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.  

The event, which is ISA’s largest cultural event of the semester, will consist of the opportunity to taste a variety of cuisine from around the world then watch cultural performances from Pitt State’s international students.  

“It gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures from around the world while staying in Pittsburg,” Coordinator of International Recruitment and Marketing and advisor of the ISA Amber Etcheson said. 

The event will be split up into two portions. The first half of the event will be dedicated to the food of different cultures, and the second half of the evening will be the performance portion of the event. 

The food will be prepared by various student organizations and groups and will feature traditional foods from their countries.  

“…We wanted to share the food brought from different cultures while our international students are here and show a little bit of their culture,” said ISA Resource Coordinator and sophomore in psychology Gulifeila Alimu.  

To taste the various foods available, those who attend will be required to purchase sample tickets for $1 per ticket, in addition to a $1 admission fee. 

Between 20 and 25 nations will be represented at the event, and there will be a variety of performances by international students. Included in the performances will be a dance by members of the African Student Association (ASA), the Brazilian Student Association will perform the forró dance, the Taiwanese Student Association will have cultural and contemporary performances, piano playing among other performances, and presentations. 

“We sometimes have presentations, dance, and songs,” Alimu said. “So, people could learn their culture by watching these performances after the food part. It’s a really good way for others to learn about each other’s culture.” 

Junior in marketing Jesueun Morohunfola, a student from Nigeria, will dance as a part of the ASA for the event. 

“I wanted to support the people from my continent and show what my culture’s like and to help people experience what Africa’s like even if they’re not there,” Morohunfola said. “Also, just to be able to do something fun with my friends and keep up on with my African brothers and sisters.” 

 Members of ASA will perform a modern African dance that will incorporate the various cultures and countries represented in the group. The group will practice two to three times before the event and hope to be able to teach those who attend about Africa. 

“I think being able to teach people about your culture- whether it’s telling them about the language, explaining stuff, or through showing, like a song from your country or a dance, … it’s very interesting for people,” Morohunfola said. 

According to Alimu, the hope for the night is for people, “to know there is more to learn” and for international students to be able to share their culture with others in the Pittsburg community. 

“On the one hand you bring different cultures, diverse ideas and practices, cuisines, and performances to our local community,” Etcheson said. “…But then on the flip side, you’re able to allow our international student population to meet and connect with the local community. It’s not only a positive experience for the local community but also for the international students…” 

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