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Lehigh Carbon Community College

By Suzy Alstrin

The annual International Culture Festival showcases the vast array of students from around the world who studied at Reinhardt University. On April 4, over 50 informational exhibits displayed the countries from which they have come. Fifty-seven current international students from 22 countries revamped showcases to accurately represent their backgrounds. Students representing a country for the first time, such as one from Northern Ireland, created new displays. Mock passports handed out at the entrance allowed visitors to check off each country as they traveled the room.  

The celebration of world customs came alive with engaging performances. Leah Streams (RU – 2027), showcased her voice talents by singing Irish and Estonian songs, and Adetunji Adesesan, Director of the Academic Support Office, presented African storytelling and performed a Nigerian song. Led by Assistant Professor of Music Dr. George Blankston playing African drums, a student trio danced a blend of traditional and contemporary dance and music styles from Togo, Benin, and Ghana.  

Performer Samya Henderson (RU – 2027) attends Dr. Blankston’s world music course and was proud to participate, “I’ve never been out of the country, but not traveling doesn’t mean you can’t learn and experience different cultures. It was fun to experience some of the things that Ghanaians and West Africans do like dancing and wearing their clothing.” African clothing supplied at a photo booth allowed attendees to put on traditional garments and pose for the camera.  

A cultural event wouldn’t be complete without sampling unique cuisines. Curious and hungry attendees enjoyed trying foods and drinks from across Africa, Europe, and Latin America. International students, staff, and faculty brought in foods to represent what they eat at home, including moin-moin from Nigeria, Venezuelan tequenos, and Moroccan tea and desserts. The Metz dining hall joined in the offerings with cultural items such as Portuguese flan.  

Dr. Jennifer F. Summey, Assistant Professor of Spanish and World Languages and Cultures Program Coordinator summed up the event saying, “The real focus of this venue is on the international students and this is a way to showcase how diverse Reinhardt really is.”