The 2015 MSU Global Festival was a huge success on Sunday, November 22! Students, community members, MSU faculty and staff, and families attended the event that was held at the MSU Union.
More than 25 countries and world regions were represented at exhibit booths and more than 20 different performances filled the Ballroom stage with singing, poetry, dancing and even yo-yoing.
Kendall Bubolz was one of the young yo-yoing experts from the Lansing Chinese School and she said that she loved performing at Global Festival because they have a unique skill that not very many people can do.
“We really like showing off the new tricks that we can do and it’s great to show all of our hard work to the community,” Bubolz said.
One of the performances included the MasterCard Scholars doing a traditional form of entertainment that the miners used in Africa. The performance was called a Gumboot dance, which the miners did to entertain themselves while working. They wore the gumboots that the miners wore during the Apartheid era.
“We modified the chants to fit what our purpose was here today,” Program Manager Isaac Kalumbu said. “We mixed the MSU tradition with African tradition.”
The MasterCard Scholars said in their chant things like ‘We are MasterCard Scholars, Go Green, Go White and Spartans Will.’
Along with the performances, there was also a fashion show, children’s activities and a sea of booths where international groups came to display why they are proud of their culture.
Sarah Harflieb, the president of the Russian club said that Global Festival is a great way for all of the countries to be displayed by those that are from there. She said it’s great that they can all portray their country in a positive way, how they see it, because sometimes countries can get skewed for the wrong reasons.
“It’s a great way to learn from each other too,” Harflieb said. “It’s good to see that we are all people and what makes us different is wonderful.”
The Greece booth has been at Global Festival for more than 10 years, according to Viviana Raphtis, who was helping run the booth on Sunday.
“It’s really cool to be involved in an event where everyone can display their own culture in collaboration with other cultures as well,” Raphtis said. “Our goal is to help spread the cultural side of Greece.”
Ana Rovai, of the Brazil booth, similarly said that in Michigan there aren’t always many cultures to explore, so it is good to get people open-minded and to show people what your culture is all about.
These three booths are just an example of the many international student groups and clubs that were represented at Global Festival. All of the pictures we took are on our Facebook page!
Global Festival was sponsored by The Office for International Students and Scholars, MOSAIC, MSU Federal Credit Union, University Activities Board, MSU Union and Community Volunteers for International Programs.
Global Festival couldn’t have been accomplished without the many volunteers for the event.
Lingfanglu Han said that she chose to volunteer for the event because it is such an interesting experience and she gets to meet so many new people. She also likes practicing her English with everyone at the festival.
“With volunteering comes the chance to interact and talk to others and meet other people,” said Zihan Li, another volunteer at the event. “It’s a chance to build our resumes while participating in an experience that will benefit ourselves and others culturally.”
For Olivia, the graphic design intern at OISS, taking photos at Global Festival is not just another day at work.
“The Lion Dance was probably my favorite thing throughout the day because it was so colorful and eye catching and I’ve never seen anything like that in real life,” said Olivia Weber, graphic design intern at OISS.
Weber said she didn’t realize how many cultures had clubs and groups on campus. She said that it was really cool to see everyone come together and see the cultural groups interact and hangout at each other’s booths.
We so enjoyed celebrating the diversity of the MSU community at Global Festival this year. Please share with us in the comments your favorite part of the Festival, and check out our Facebook page for more photos!