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Hundreds of students, staff and visitors learned about countries and cultures from across the globe during New Mexico State University’s Around the World Festival, held on campus March 8 and hosted by the NMSU International Club.
Students created tables for the event on the NMSU International Mall, with maps, flags and a wide range of items that represent their home countries on display from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Many participating students were also wearing traditional attire.
That evening live performances, including dancing, music and showcases, were held in the Corbett Center auditorium, said International Club President Hamza Badrari, who is from Morocco.
Following the performances, attendees enjoyed a buffet outside Corbett center, during which “a variety of food (Japanese, Greek and Middle Eastern) was served to approximately 400 people,” Badrari said. “The dinner was presented by the International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS) and our club helped on the organization and serving the food,” he said.
The club also “commemorated International Women's Day (March 8) by distributing over 300 flowers to women attending the morning event, as well as serving donuts and coffee to demonstrate American culture,” Badrari said.
NMSU International Club Vice President Yangmi Kang LaCombe said 27 countries were represented during the festival: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Syria.
LaCombe said the event also had participation from NMSU Chicano, LGBT+, Asian and Pacific Islander and Education Abroad programs, along with the university’s passport office.
“We are thrilled and proud of our club for making the event successful, and we plan to host the event every year,” said LaCombe, a third-generation Korean-Japanese, originally from Japan and is a Ph.D. candidate in the NMSU Department of Kinesiology.
“I’d like to thank all participants, volunteers, and, most of all, our sponsors for making this event possible. We hope to see everyone next year,” said LaCombe.
“Working with many people to make the event a success was a fantastic experience,” Badrari said. “I have enjoyed every moment of my time working with such an inspiring group of individuals,” he said, including Student Involvement and Leadership Programs; Education Abroad; the Associated Students of NMSU; NMSU Vice President, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Teresa Scholz; NMSU Vice President of Student Success Renay Scott; and ISSS.
“Many students and faculty members praised the event and asked that it should be repeated the following year,” Badrari said. “We are excited to make the ‘Around the World Festival’ next year and we hope to represent more countries.”