On Friday night April 11, students could experience many cultures in one spot as Illinois College hosted their 6th annual Multicultural Festival.
More than a dozen countries were represented by students of different cultural backgrounds. Some of the countries that were represented included Nigeria, France, Mexico, Great Britian, Spain, Vietnam, and many more.
At each table, food was prepared by students from their respective country, serving up unique and delicious food. One of these unique dishes was hachis from the France table. At first glance, hachis reminded me of lasagna. Hachis is made of beef, carrots, onions, spinach, tomato paste, and is topped off by mashed potatoes and parmesan cheese.
Victoria spongecake was served up at the Great Britain table. Spongecake is a dessert that is made with regular cake with wiped cream and jam. It is served at teatime, an afternoon snack/drink break in Great Britain.
The Nigeria table had a mix of hot eats and delicious treats. One of the heat eats that I sampled was chicken and sauce. The sauce was made from maggi, white and black peppers. Let me just say that the sauce had a kick, and it had me running for the nearest drink dispensers. There was also a treat at the Nigerian table called puff-puff, which is fried and can have delicious cinnamon on top.
Along with all of the different foods, each table also had jewelry, clothing, and other items from that country.
It is important to note that not only countries could be represented at the festival, but people could also represent a period back in time or even a subpopulation in the United States.
Tori Wynecoop, a first-year on campus from Washington State, represented her Native American nation the Sponake tribe, which is “in the Eastern Part of Washington State.”
At the Sponake table, Wynecoop had different items that are a part of her Sponake background. One of the items that I noticed was a rosary, a necklace-like item used in the Catholic Church for prayers. This rosary consisted of beads in the shape of turtles.
Wynecoop told the significance about the rosary and its relation to her native American background, “During the early 1900s, an argument between catholic and protestant missionaries split our tribe. This rosary mixes Catholicism with my background.”
Another table present at the multicultural festival was S.A.G.E.
At the entrance to the multicultural festival, students were handed a little pamphlet that they carried to each table to get it signed by one of the culture representatives. Each student had to collect at least one dozen signatures. Once a student was done, a member of S.A.G.E. collected these pamphlets. The S.A.G.E. was present at the festival to promote diversity not only among Americans, but the world.
Rodney Jones, a freshman had this following statement to say, “We are making people more aware of diversity issues. We are trying to make the public more aware of LGBT rights to promote equality in America.”
After everybody enjoyed delicious and exotic food from around the world, the Multicultural Festival was wrapped up with an interesting and fun fashion and art show represented by different countries. Those who attended surely agree that diversity is a great part of life and that they eagerly await next year’s festival.