The flags of several countries flew in Sneaky Park as students learned about the world at the 25th annual International Educational Festival hosted by the International Student Organization and the Office of International Student Services Wednesday.
The University of La Verne joined other universities across the country and the world in celebrating International Education Week.
The purpose of this week is to encourage students to learn about the different cultures of the world.
“The student community comes together, learns from each other and makes new friendships,” International Student Organization adviser Araceli Sanchez said.
Sanchez also said that learning about different countries and cultures helps students understand others better and not be influenced by what they hear and see in the news because they know firsthand about a country and what is happening there.
Both domestic and international students were invited to represent a country and its culture. Among the countries that were represented at booths were Brazil, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Philippines, Mexico, Japan and the United States.
Each booth had samples of traditional dishes and a poster board with facts about a country.
YiTing Lin, a sophomore business major from Taiwan, was eager to share his Taiwanese culture. Lin had samples of pineapple cake and sweet tea for students and staff to enjoy.
“People should know about the different cultures because the United States has diversity,” said Lin.
Music from each country was played while students and staff mingled and visited each booth.
“I studied abroad last semester in South Korea and seeing the South Korea booth just brings back a lot of memories from when I was there,” senior business major Ana Aragon said. “I would go back if I had the chance to,” she said.
Students also had the chance to represent their cultures through performances.
Junior international business and language major Andrea Mujica sang the Peruvian national anthem.
“I am a Peruvian citizen as well as a United States citizen and I feel it’s my duty to know my national anthems and sing both,” Mujica said.
The La Verne dance team danced to salsa and senior multimedia major Christopher Pulu engaged the audience with a Tongan haka.
“It gives students a voice and it helps students’ culture be heard and you get an authentic feel for it,” said Mujica.
The International Student Organization meets Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in Campus Center Room 206.
Kaila Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.