Festival celebrates cultures across the globe

Elleni Koulos, director of counseling and psychological services, shares her Greek heritage at the International Education Festival on Nov. 17 on the Citrus Lawn. The event featured booths with foods, cultural artifacts,and crafts from countries all over the world. / photo by Camille C.Nan
Elleni Koulos, director of counseling and psychological services, shares her Greek heritage at the International Education Festival on Nov. 17 on the Citrus Lawn. The event featured booths with foods, cultural artifacts,and crafts from countries all over the world. / photo by Camille C.Nan

Hailey Martinez
Staff Writer 

Students gathered earlier this month on Citrus Lawn to join the Campus Activity Board and the Office of International Services and Engagement for the International Education Festival. A 35-year tradition here, the Festival highlights cultures from around the world. 

The Festival, held Nov. 17, is part of International Education Week, which is celebrated across the United States to honor international students and their cultures.

Events were also held throughout the week, including an international movie night Nov. 14; an international photo exhibit featuring the work of faculty and alumni Nov. 15; and international desserts on Nov. 16. 

The Fest on Nov. 17 featured internationally themed booths hosted by various campus organizations. Students were able to listen to a variety of international music on LeoFm, from pop music to Latin music. Bon Appetit provided international food, such as hummus with pita chips, mini taquitos with avocado salsa, and fried ravioli with marinara sauce. 

The University of La Verne Pep band also performed “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes and “Joy to the World” by George Frideric Handel. 

“The world is a small place,” said Nancy Newman, director of international services and engagement. “We are interconnected (and) it’s good for us to learn about each other, understand each other and explore new parts of the world.” 

Newman added that it is important to know where we all come from because we all have such diverse backgrounds, and International Education Week is a chance to shine a spotlight on that. 

“I hope students get to try authentic Greek olive oil, not all olive oil is created equal,” said Elleni Koulos, director of counseling and psychological services, whose booth at the event shared feta cheese topped with Greek olive oil and a side of bread. Koulos, who is Greek, said she loves to share her culture. Her booth also featured a Greek briki, a small pot that is used to make traditional Greek coffee, and a Tavli, a Greek backgammon board game. 

Also at the Fest, the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society collaborated with the University’s Cultural and Natural History Collections, sharing artifacts from Mexico, Southeast Asia, Nigeria and Peru. They also showcased currencies from different cultures like Hong Kong, Australia, France, Tibet and China. 

Senior biology major Justin Wong, who is involved with the International Student Organization, hosted a booth representing Indonesia. 

“We have fun facts about Indonesia, such as they’re the largest muslim population in the world and they have the most island worldwide,” Wong said.     

His booth also shared Indonesian food, including Rendang, a coconut curry dish, Babi Guling, a traditional pork dish, and Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian fried rice dish. 

Hailey Martinez can be reached at hailey.martinez@laverne.edu.  

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Hailey Martinez is a junior journalism major with a photography minor. She is a staff writer for the Campus Times and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

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Camille C.Nan is a sophomore photography major who specializes in portraiture. She is a staff photographer for Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

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