Vibrant colored dresses, dances and diverse flavors of food from Mexico to the Philippines attracted crowds of students along Titan Walk Tuesday afternoon for the Association of InterCultural Awareness’ Annual Multicultural Festival.
The event aimed to introduce students to different cultures on campus.
“It’s very important for us right now to be able to share how diverse and how different the cultures are, and how that could bring us to be more experienced and more open minded to the world,” said Esther Feng, AICA events coordinator.
Feng said cultural awareness is especially important amid the uncertainty surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the DREAM Act under President Donald Trump’s administration.
“It’s a very big world out there and everyone has their own unique characteristic to their culture,” Feng said. “I wanted to bring that to this (festival).”
Students passing by Titan Walk, had the chance to receive food and participate in different activities from cultural clubs like Movimiento Estudiantil [email protected] de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.).
“We all come from different cultures, from different backgrounds but if you come to think about it, we’re not all completely different. We all have certain customs, certain traditions that are relatable,” said Abel Mendoza, M.E.Ch.A. co-chair.
Mendoza said the festival helps remind students of the vast array of cultural diversity on campus.
“When you’re on campus, you focus on yourself, focus on school,” Mendoza said. “When you have events like this, you actually see what’s going on with campus. You see what organizations there are, and you see what other people bring.”
The Pilipino-American Student Association (PASA) provided students with the chance to participate in a traditional tinikling dance, in which dancers hop in and out between two moving bamboo sticks.
For many students, the main attraction was the food. Students received a card in the form of a boarding pass that allowed them access to different foods depending on how many clubs they visited.
“It makes me feel like the world is a little bit closer when I may not have the opportunity to visit some of these places myself,” said graduate student Cristina Dypiangco.
Ballet Folklorico de CSUF and the CSUF Japanese Culture Club performed in the Becker Amphitheater.
Shades of orange, green and red fluttered across the stage as Ballet Folklorico de CSUF performed dances representing Mexican states Jalisco, Baja and Chihuahua.
“Most of the dances are to show everybody that they’re still being performed. It’s not like something that we’ve lost as a tradition,” said Erik Rodriguez, AICA representative for Ballet Folklorico de CSUF. “We’re still doing traditional dances here and its a way for people to learn about our culture and how we like to dance.”
Following Ballet Folklorico de CSUF, the Japanese Culture Club performed a yosakoi dance, in which members of the club moved energetically as they twirled red and black umbrellas to the beat of modern music.
Though gathering in one place made things easier, Feng said the organizations on campus would help educate students on the cultural diversity of the campus even without an event like the Annual Multicultural Festival.
“(The organizations) are very open and out there. They want to show their culture. They want to show their different characteristics,” Feng said.[slideshow_deploy id=’112208′]