Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 8, 2016


Celebrating International Fair

Karen Kanyike

If you love food, entertainment, fun activities and learning about other cultures, you will not want to miss the Manchester University International Fair that will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 in the Physical Education and Recreation Center.

Salwa Nubani, a senior biology chemistry major from Ramallah, Palestine and assistant to the Director of Intercultural Services, is the main student leader organizing this event. “The International Fair has a beautiful air to it, from the sound of adults chattering, to the children playing, to the smell and taste of food and the sound of live music and entertainment,” she said.

Food from various cultures and countries will be cooked up and served at the event. These cultures and countries include African American, Palestinian, Japanese, Nigerian/Jamaican fusion, Filipino, Ethiopian, Ugandan, New Zealand/Australian, French, Romanian, Indian and Mexican. Some of the dishes include Lumpia (Philippines), Kifo (Ethiopia), Misir (Ethiopia), Imjadara (Palestine), Baba Ghanoush (Middle East, Palestine), Pakoras (India), Samosas (Uganda) and many more.

Zander Willoughby, a sophomore political science and French major from Grandville, MI, is eagerly looking forward to the event. “This is my first International Fair,” he said. “I am very excited to see the community come together to celebrate the vast number of cultures Manchester has represented and celebrate Manchester's place in this beautiful world. I can hardly wait to help cook dishes from all over the world. I'm almost as excited to help cook them as I am to eat them.”

Tobechukwu Nwaelugo, a sophomore pre-law political science major from Imo State, Nigeria, had only positive things to say about the event. “I am very excited for the International Fair because what I have heard so far is that [the event] is bigger and better than the international buffet,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to unite the university as a whole because everyone’s culture falls under that category of international.”

The event will host a variety of performers representing numerous cultures that will range from Scottish Bagpipe performers to Filipino dancers and Grammy Award–winner and Dove Award–winning singer and songwriter/producer, Rudy Currence. There will also be a section with activities for children.

Anthea Ayebaze, a first-year biology chemistry major from Kampala, Uganda, likes the idea of the International Fair. “I think it’s nice because we will get a chance to learn about different cultures, and if someone comes from a small town, this would help enlarge their world,” she said. Ayebaze will be a part of the decorating committee and she will perform cultural dances alongside Nwaelugo and some of their friends.

Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie, a first year biology chemistry major from Accra, Ghana, thinks very highly of the event. “I believe in learning from experiences [and] differences,” he said. “I see the International Fair as a perfect platform to enlighten my scope of knowledge about other cultures, beliefs and customs other than mine.”

Dagmawi Tadesse, a junior computer science major from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be participating in the event in a number of ways. “I will be dancing [and] representing the different tribes in Ethiopia,” he said. “I will also be helping out with the cooking for some countries like Ethiopia and Australia.”

Preparations for the event will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. and will continue until 11 a.m. on Sunday. “It takes a lot of hard work, organization and team effort to pull this off,” Nubani said. “But it is all worth it when you see everyone coming together and see how excited people are to try the different kinds of food. It is so rewarding to see people smile and taste the food you have worked so hard to prepare.

“The main leader of this event is Michael Dixon, director of Intercultural Services. But the entire event would not be successful without the committee and subcommittees that are made and organized by numerous faculty, staff and students,” she added.

Some of the major committees involved in the organization of this event are the decorating and food committees. Audrey Hampshire, Associate Registrar, Cheri Krueckeberg, Associate Professor of Social Work and Jessica Sillaman, Hall Director of Schwalm Hall, will lead the decorating committee while Chris Fogerty, Executive chef, and Nubani will be in charge of the food committee.