noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 11
College brings the world to North Manchester
with biennial International Fair on April 11
Jacquilline Nagila of Kenya at the 2008 International Fair
Japanese drumming in the background, with exotic food scents in the air and children and adults laughing together. It’s time for the Manchester College International Fair, from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. in the Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC).
The biennial celebration is focused on the community, to raise awareness of international traditions and share cultural cuisine, says Jacquilline Nagila, director of multicultural services and campus diversity for the College. About 3½ percent of the 1,223 students call other countries home, adding a rich diversity to the primarily Hoosier student body.
“As small as we are, we are very diverse,” notes Nagila, a native of Kenya. “So we are trying to provide opportunities for the community to learn about different cultures and realize there’s more to the picture than what they know.”
Admission is free, but to sample the foods, guests will receive tickets for the country booths, at 25 cents each. International students and other members of the campus international organizations will dish out foods from their countries and display and chat about their home customs. The “tour” includes more than 15 destinations: Uganda, Nigeria, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Peru, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Nepal, Cambodia, United States, and Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
While most students participating will represent their home lands, some just enjoy another culture. “We have students who’ve gone to other parts of the world and come back so excited and want to share that with us,” says Nagila.
The fun doesn’t stop at food. Performances and children’s activities (including a petting zoo) are on the schedule, as well as booths for community organizations, including North Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Third World, Heifer International, H&R Block, and others.
Underwriters for the event are Community Foundation of Wabash County, Manchester College Community Club and Manchester College.