Emory Report
April 3, 2006
Volume 58, Number 25


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April 3, 2006
International Cultural Festival reaches 30-year milestone

BY alfred charles

Spring break is over and April has arrived, which means that Emory’s annual celebration of global diversity is at hand.

The International Cultural Festival, set for Saturday, April 8, at McDonough Field, will mark its 30th anniversary this year with flags, fashion, food, music and dance that are now hallmarks of the popular bash. For complete details about the line-up, log on to www.emory.edu/ISSP/icf/.

As many as 4,000 people from the University and metro Atlanta are expected to attend this year’s milestone blowout.

“We’re really, really excited about it this year,” said student Khulood Ebrahim, president of the International Association, which sponsors the event along with the International Student and Scholar Program (ISSP). “It has grown tremendously over the years.”

An award ceremony is scheduled for April 11 to recognize individuals and groups who compete during the festival in categories that include best performance and best booth.

The International Cultural Festival began in 1976 as a way to celebrate the different cultures that make up Emory’s student, faculty and staff populations. The popularity of the festival, which resembles a large carnival bazaar, has surged over time.

“The festival has grown tremendously over the years, and this year will top them all,” said Laura Stamey, international student adviser in the ISSP office. “It has reached new levels.”

During the most recent years, the festival was held on the Quad but will be moved this year for a variety of reasons, including weather. Last year’s stormy weather prompted organizers to move the festival at the last minute because the soggy Quad ground couldn’t accommodate the revelers.

This year’s event is being held at McDonough Field, and the P.E. Center will serve as the back-up site if inclement weather pops up again.

A host of departments from throughout the campus, including biochemistry, political science, religion, theater studies and sociology, have signed on as event contributors by donating money.

The festival is a visual reminder that Emory’s Southern stock continues to be spiced with international seasoning. Stamey said about 1,031 students from outside the United States are enrolled at the University, representing 109 countries from across the globe.

She said the festival is a way of ensuring that all on Emory’s campus can be engaged in multiculturalism.
“The festival is accessible to all,” said Stamey, who works with student organizers virtually year-round to plan the event. “It is a tradition at Emory and serves a beautiful purpose.”

One week after the festival, Emory’s campus will host another international event, this time focusing on Korea.

Korean Culture Night is scheduled for Saturday, April 15, from 6-8 p.m. in White Hall. A host of dignitaries, including the Korean Consulate General and Emory President Emeritus Jim Laney, a former U.S. Ambassador to Korea, are expected to attend.

The event is sponsored by the Korean Undergraduate Students Association and Korean International Students at Emory.