Get ready to experience the world at Ferris State University during the 23rd annual International Festival of Cultures on Sunday, April 3 courtesy of a wide variety of authentic foods, music and entertainment.
This year’s event will be held in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room from 1 to 5 p.m. as international students from 28 different countries will share some of their culture with the Ferris and Big Rapids communities. Admission for the festival is free and the event is open to the public.
“This event is a really cool way to see all the international students at Ferris in one location representing their cultures,” said Shana Beisiegel, administrative assistant in the Office of International Education. “The international students are so eager to share this experience with all of Ferris.”
The international students will be cooking their favorite foods to share with the public while also expressing their culture through costumes, music, dancing and more. With a 50 cent ticket charge, per each food sample, attendees can enjoy the tastes of different cultures in one location. Ferris students with valid student identification cards will receive three free food samples.
“To me, the festival marks the beginning of spring and this year we will have entertainment, poems, music, dancers and singers. It’s one place you can go and see a variety of cultures all gathered together,” Beisiegel said.
Besides the traditional food and music, this year’s entertainment includes an Arabic poem recital and an Indian singer. International handmade items will be for sale from Ten Thousand Villages to support countries from around the world.
Ten Thousand Villages will be showcasing and selling craftwork such as handmade baskets, jewelry, carved boxes, birdhouse, bags, soaps and candles. Items can be purchased in the Rankin Student Center Founder’s Room.
Beisiegel is thrilled for the event and hopes everyone who attends recognizes the significance of bringing all of Ferris’ cultures together at the end of the year for this traditional international education celebration.
“I think the students get a wider view of what actually is available at Ferris,” she said. “It’s a really good way to showcase cultures and what they bring to Ferris. It’s an annual event that we’ve held for years, and we hope to make it better every year.”
The OIE staff emphasizes that the event is open, inclusive and that “there is something for everybody” including students, staff, faculty and members of the Big Rapids community.
Big Rapids elementary school students will participate in a poster competition titled, “One World Many Faces.” Students from kindergarten through fifth grade will be asked to create their masterpieces that display their visions of people from around the world. Prizes will be awarded to each participating classroom and to the top posters. Winning posters will be put on display at the festival.
A number of awards also will be presented as part of the festival to students, faculty, staff and the community.
For more information about this year’s International Festival of Cultures, contact Shana Beisiegel at (231) 591-2824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The festival is sponsored by the International Student Organization, the Office of International Educations, the Finance Division of Student Government, FSU dining services and more.