Nov 102005
 
Authors: Margaret Canty

The world opens to students, staff and the community Saturday, where one can sip tea in a middle eastern tent, meet an Indian artist and see traditional foreign dance, all for free. Finally, travel even a college student can afford.

The 52nd annual World Unity Fair takes place in the Lory Student Center ballrooms from 3 to 8:30 pm. It features food, music, dance and displays from more than 20 of CSU's international student organizations and culture groups.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to expose students and the community to the international community at CSU," said Shawna Magtutu, the program coordinator in the Office of International Programs . "It's celebrating the differences in cultures in a unifying and educational way."

The fair kicks off with a youth world tour at 3 p.m., where activities such as Henna painting, folk dancing and African drumming, are geared toward children.

"If we expose children to these different cultures now, think how accepting they will be in the future," said Jenn Christ, central programming coordinator for Apartment Life and student affairs and higher education graduate student.

This will be followed by "chaos," said Magtutu, as all the different cultures sell food and treats native to their country.

"It is like Taste of Colorado except with the world. You can get a great plate for under $5," she said. "You can explore the world without leaving Fort Collins and taste it too."

The clubs showcase the best of their countries during this event.

"We will prepare deserts and have costumes. It's good to exhibit your culture and traditions, and provide a taste of your cuisine," said Beyazit Celik of the Turkish Student Association, a senior business management major .

Food won't be the only entertainment. The world talent show begins at 6 p.m. and will feature everything from singing to martial arts. An international bazaar or "world flea market," a fundraiser for the non-profit Fort Collins International Center, will also take place throughout the evening, Magtutu said.

"We sell donated items from international travels. They aren't expensive, and we also have a give away table. People even come early for it," said Nancy Sturterant, a member of the executive board of the Fort Collins International Center.

Sturterant recommends attending the fair for two reasons.

"It is important to first understand the breadth of culture at CSU and then to broaden the understanding of these cultures," she said. "It's fun. It's colorful."

Magtutu expects anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people and hopes Saturday's football game will not deter from attendance.

The event will kick off national International Education Week, and all funds made go directly to the student organizations.

"It's an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and the community to come together to provide a showcase of the cultures at CSU," Sturterant said.

 

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