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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Annual International Fest draws large crowds

<national Festival this year, which took place in Upper and Lower Sayles on Saturday, was a huge success. Scores of culture clubs and international students at Carleton performed and/or cooked authentic ethnic foods for hundreds of audiences from the Carleton and Northfield communities. The budget committee raised $3500 to put up this annual event, and total donations and sales of postcards accrued $370, which will be channeled to the Microfinance club and also Engineers Without Borders.

Jabir Yusoff, member of the budget committee, said, “For me personally, the meetings and planning that went into the process were a lot more rewarding than the Fest itself. I’ve had a great time organizing it.” On a similar note, Daniel Rath, the head of the food committee said, “I think you learn a lot with planning events of this scale, and it’s been such an educational and fun experience to work with my co and everyone else and put in team effort.”

While spectators enjoyed the show, a consistent complaint was about the long line for food. Rath said, “Sadly, that was inevitable with 25 dishes to choose from (some with add-ons as well) and hundreds of hungry people, the line is bound to move slowly. But that said, we will keep our expectations from servers in mind and communicate to them that speedy service is essential and hopefully improve on this as much as possible for next year.”

Entertainment on stage was emceed by Vivaan Misra and Danielle Sumita, who introduced a gamut of performances ranging from Korean dances to a Chinese ensemble and then some. Chris Lee, the head of the entertainment committee, shared the highlight of her experience at International Fest- “This year, we had a gumboot dance for UWC students and friends. It was my first time performing for this dance and I had a lot of fun participating in it.” Meanwhile, activities tables were set up on the sides of lower Sayles with stalls hosting henna tattoos, Burmese sandalwood face-painting, Chinese calligraphy and origami.

Mio Shimma, an intern for the International Students office, was the student over-looker for the entire festival. When asked what the biggest challenge in planning was, she said, “Communication. The people not involved in planning it thought that I knew every aspect of it, and I was constantly contacted by a lot of performers and cookers for details regarding the event. Everything went well in the end, though; it was just a little stressful to communicate everything smoothly for such a large event sometimes.”

Kristen Askeland from the Office of Intercultural Life has been heavily involved in planning the festival along with Petra Crosby, Director of International Programs. Askeland confidently said, “I think this year, we had a collection of the best committee organizers this fest has ever seen. Planning started from eight weeks before the festival, and it was very well-organized.”

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