The Festival of Cultures highlights 20 countries through gastronomy and pleasure – News
This 25-year Eckerd tradition highlights the cultural and geographic diversity represented in the College’s international student population. This year, the student ambassadors have chosen to represent their country with specific dishes, music, dance or poetry.
Latinos Unidosa multicultural student club, held a cultural dance lesson, and a group of students from Eckerd College’s ELS English language center partnered with the Japanese Culture Club to perform a traditional choreographed dance to end the event. Currently, ELS, which brings students from around the world to Eckerd for intensive English lessons, is hosting a group of 50 Japanese students. Other events included a Caribbean steel drum band and a Colombian poetry reading by Prech Potesak, a freshman marine science student from Clinton, Connecticut, and president of the Latinos Unidos club. Bailey Usdan, a freshman from Nashville, Tennessee, also performed “Izlel e Delio Haidutin,” a traditional Bulgarian song.
Other Eckerd students chose to represent their cultures by offering little tastes of popular dishes from their countries. “Most students will cook their own food…Usually what they cook is a little taste of the culture, so there won’t be a full meal from every table,” says Morgan Bower, president of the International Student Association, a senior environmental studies student from Nassau, Bahamas.
Bower and ISA have been planning this event since November 2021, assisted by Olivier Debure, Director of International Student Services and Academic Advisor for ISA. He offered Bower inspiration from past festivals and helped with general logistics.
“The festival can only happen thanks to the generosity and dedication of our international students who volunteer to share their cultures in a fun and informative way,” said Debure. “They spend a lot of time thinking about ways to participate and make it a worthwhile event for everyone.”