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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

International Festival takes on a new face

<ring is a time for celebration and Carleton’s International Festival, an annual event featuring activities, music, food and performances from students representing over 50 countries.

Spring is also a time for change, however, and this year’s attendees will notice a few differences from past festivals.

Traditionally held in Sayles Great Space, International Fest is moving outdoors in 2010 and will take place on the Bald Spot. Co-chairs of the International Festival Committee, Khant Khant Kyaw ‘11 and Jabir Bin Mohd Yusoff ‘11, said they expect this change to shorten the often-lengthy food lines and to draw in more of the community.

“Hopefully having it outdoors will attract more people,” Yusoff said.

The Bald Spot will also provide space for a new addition, international games and sports, which will include Chin-Lone, a type of Burmese cane-ball, a Singaporean shuttlecock game called Capteh and the Indian team sport Kabbadi, among others.

In addition to the games and location change, the international cuisine will also be different. The sampling of various international dishes is a big draw for many Carls, but unlike at past festivals, attendees will now need coupons in order to receive food at the various stalls.

Earlier this week, festival organizers placed tickets in student mailboxes to be exchanged at the International Fest Information Table in Sayles for food coupons. Students may divide these however they wish amongst the 20 stalls. Faculty, staff and Northfield residents who would also like to partake can purchase a set of 10 coupons at the festival for the price of $2. Particularly ravenous students are also welcome to purchase more.

Kyaw and Yusoff said that the motivation behind these coupons is to raise money as well as ensure enough food for everyone.

“The aim is to reduce food waste and raise funds for charities,” Yusoff said.

Festival-goers can also purchase postcards featuring student photos from off-campus studies programs and student hometowns. The proceeds from postcards and food coupon sales will benefit Engineers Without Borders and the Northfield Community Action Center.

2010 marks the 14th year of the International Festival, and Yusoff and Kyaw are strong believers in its ability to forge connections across the Carleton population.

 “It’s a good way to try and bring the international community together and also to reach out to the Carleton Community,” Yusoff said. “It’s also a lot of good food,” he added.

In addition to the event itself, Kyaw said the planning and organization, which usually begins sixth week of winter term, offers a chance to make friendships across class years as well as a chance to learn about the subtleties of Carleton event planning.

“That’s something that’s very valuable but we don’t get to recognize it,” Kyaw said. She also stressed that although the event is called “International Festival,” it is only through the combined efforts of both “international and domestic students” that it comes to fruition each year.

International Fest takes place this Saturday, May 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In the case of inclement weather, the festival will take place in Sayles Great Space, as in past years. Kyaw encourages participants to wear ethnic and/or traditional clothing to the event.

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