International Fair is
of experiences, music
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - It begins with drums of
West Africa. Then some folk dancing, and Japanese dancing, Aztec
dancing, American square dancing. And the food . incredible tastes from
around the world. Sprinkle in some Salsa and hot Latin beats and even
some Serbian-Croatian music, and you get the idea: It's the
International Fair at Manchester College.
The six-hour Cultural Mosaic of sights, sounds and
tastes from around the world showcases the college's international
culture from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 25 in the Physical
Education and Recreation Center (PERC). It's an opportunity for the
entire family to go globe-trotting and not leave northeast Indiana.
Admission is free because of financial support from the community.
The festival is a natural for Manchester College,
which offers a multitude of international study abroad and travel
experiences to its students and provides a scholarly home to 83
international students from 33 nations.
The Manchester International Fair is
family-focused, with foods, interactive events, displays, learning
adventures, children's activities and at least 15 grand performances by
professional troupes as well as Manchester students and area groups.
"The music is tantalizingly contagious and
interactive, performed by authentic and renowned groups that together
represent a global taste," said Dr. Peter Gitau, director of
multicultural affairs and chair of the International Fair Steering
Committee. "The event has been a hallmark of college-community
integration and cooperation, while intentionally igniting much-needed
dialogues that break ethnic, language and national-origin boundaries."
The music, the swirl of activity, the hands-on
opportunities to experience other cultures will captivate and enthrall
young and old. At least 1,000 visitors are expected to the Cultural
Mosaic, which is a collaboration of Manchester College, the Gemmer
Family Christian Foundation, Plowshares peace studies program and the
Wabash County Community Foundation.
At least 40 displays and booths range from study
abroad opportunities and area cultural clubs to a currency exchange, the
Miami Indians of Indiana to a French café, Friends of the Third World,
Rotary International, Habitat for Humanity and many more.
Countries represented at booths include Bahrain,
Ecuador, France, Germany, Jamaica and the Caribbean, Kenya, Mexico,
Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Spain, Thailand, Uganda and
Venezuela. Most of the exhibits feature enticing samples of popular
dishes prepared by Manchester College students in the campus cafeteria
under the supervision of Chartwell's food service personnel.
Manchester College began hosting a community
international dinner in the late 1980s. In subsequent years, the event
grew into a festival, often focusing on a different country or area of
the world. The 1995 International Fair celebrated the 50th
anniversary of the United Nations, and MC graduate Andrew Cordier, who
helped write the U.N. charter. Today, the International Fair is a
Manchester, a Church of the Brethren residential
college in North Manchester, Ind., offers more than 45 areas of study
to1,170 students. For more about the college and its international
programs and Intercultural Center and activities, visit
Manchester International Fair
- 6 p.m., Sunday, April 25
Noon Grand Entry, Drums of West Africa
p.m. Folk Dancing, Lupita and company
p.m. Serbian-Croatian taste, Drina Orchestra of
p.m. Japanese Dancing, Minyo Dancers of Indianapolis
p.m. Manchester College Choir
p.m. The Nepalese Way, MC international students from Nepal
African Rhythms, Drums of West Africa from Indianapolis
2:50 p.m. American square dancing, Bells & Beaus Square Dance
Club of North Manchester
3:10 p.m. African Voices, Grace Choir
3:40 p.m. A Taste of Salsa, MC international students from
3:45 p.m. Romanian Twists, MHS exchange student from Romania
4 p.m. Aztec dancing, Asael Mujica and company
4:40 p.m. Serbian-Croatian Taste, Drina Orchestra of
5 p.m. African Voices, Grace Choir
5:20 p.m. Hot Latin Beats of Michiana, Ramon Guerrero and
6 p.m. Closing