There are many different cultures around the world and people that live in America are sometimes unaware of what traditions exist in other countries.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, the International Student Association (ISA) hosted their annual “International Food and Culture Fair.” The event had two parts, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., there were various foods and beverages from different countries served. Then from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., there were a variety of performances by students that represented international countries. The event took place at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts as students, faculty and the Pittsburg community gathered to try samples and watch performances.
“Some of the students in America do not have chances to go (study) abroad, so we bring our culture to here,” said Nien Ping Pan, junior in English.
During the food serving, students sold foods that are traditional to eat in their home countries. Each sample cost a dollar per sample ticket.
“It’s exciting,” said Alexis Daniels, junior in psychology. “It’s cool to just be exposed to all the different cultures.”
There were 17 countries that participated in the food servings. Those countries spread across five different continents including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
“Even cultures that I thought that I knew about, I was exposed (to) even more,” Daniels said.
There were similar foods and beverages served that were from different countries.
“I liked the horchata from Mexico,” said Julia Rosenberg, senior in social work. “It was interesting. We didn’t know what to expect from it,”
Horchata is a Mexican beverage that is made of rice and has cinnamon and sugar seasoning. The rice that is in the drink makes it have more of a milk taste.
Many students, staff and community members attended the event and there were lines of people leading out of the doors of the Bicknell Center.
“I was looking for an adventure with my kids,” Rosenberg said. “I have always wanted to know what the International Food and Culture Fair was.”
The performance section of the event showcased a variety of talents from students that represented international countries. There were singers, dancers and instrumental performances.
“I am going to perform, and its touching, because I get to spread my traditional culture to everyone and let more people know about it,” Pan said.
Pan is an international student from Taiwan. At the event, she performed a Taiwanese opera song. She also performed a song that implemented mandarin language and the use of sign language and the message in the song is, “thank you everyone.”
International students come to PSU to study abroad in the United States. While they are here, they adapt to a completely different culture than what they are used to in their home countries. The performances at the fair allowed students to show the audience a piece of their culture.
“Most of us (international students) have friends and family that treat us really nicely from the bottom of their hearts,” Pan said. “Without the help of people around me, my exchange year would have not been fabulous.”