World Expo Showcases Diversity



Simon, David

Colgate’s largest cultural festival, World Expo, attracted hundreds of parents, students and faculty to the Student Union last Friday. The hungry visitors could choose from a several types of cuisine, including Japan, Italy, Romania, Ghana and about half a dozen other countries. “We cooked a lot of food, but it was all gone in just twenty minutes,” Sophomore Rita Vaicekonyte, of Lithuania, who prepared apple pancakes for the Eastern European table. “People simply invaded us.” The packed rooms and the battalion of tables showed that World Expo, the only event of the year where several of Colgate’s cultural groups work together, strongly appealed to the campus this year. The 23 student groups represented a wide variety of cultures, but other organizations, such as Model United Nations and Amnesty International were also present. Bacchus, with their usual mocktails, was also in attendance. “This was the first year that Colgate International Community (CIC) undertook organization of World Expo, and we are very satisfied with the way it turned out,” President of CIC junior Dora Georgieva said. “What makes us even happier that this year several American students also participated both in organizing and performing.” Not everyone could enjoy the multitude of delicacies, though. “I am sure most of the dishes tasted great,” senior Aichida Ul-Aflaha said, when asked about her favorite chioce. “Unfortunately, I could not try any of them as I was fasting for Ramadan.” After filling up, the audience could watch several performances in the Hall of Presidents. This year, martial arts groups were the most active. The Taekwon-do groups demonstrated real fighting, members of the karate club taught volunteers how to break bricks with their bare hands and fans of Tai-jitsu could watch a beautifully choreographed performance and introduction to the history of ninjas. The greatest applause followed the song of first-year Ofelia Martinez ’08. “It was so beautiful, I almost broke out in tears,” one parent said. If anyone thought that Trinidad and India had nothing in common, he or she could learn something new on Friday. Originally, almost half of Trinidad’s population was comprised by Indians, causing their music to have common roots. This was evident from the dance performed by South Asian Continental Club (SABB) and Caribbean Student Association (CSA). “Last year, the two groups cooperated in the Breaking Bread program organized by the ALANA Cultural Center, and out of it came the idea of the dance,” Junior Krissy Williams, of Trinidad said. “We tried to illustrate how the people of Indian descent and African descent that make up the population of Trinidad managed to seamlessly blend the cultures into a distinctly Trinidadian culture,” she said. CIC’s next event, Sunday Abroad, will take place on November 14 and will feature fashion from all over the world. “Our next show is going to be something really special,” Georgieva said. “We will explore fashion, so everything you see will be high-end. Besides the cool clothes of past and present, you are going to see delicious Italian cakes, tiramisu and the best baclavas New York State has to offer.”