Festival of Cultures celebrates 20th anniversary from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 18 at CSB

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November 10, 2017

The Mexico booth at FOC 2016It’s not uncommon for sports teams to design a patch when they observe a notable anniversary.

The Festival of Cultures at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University is celebrating its 20th anniversary from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at CSB’s Haehn Campus Center and Clemens Field House, but no patch is needed for this diverse event.

The minute you walk into the field house or campus center, you will be transformed into a world traveler, celebrating and embracing cultures from around the globe.

The event, which is sponsored by Intercultural and International Student Services (IISS), is free and open to the public (a free will donation will be accepted, to offset costs). The festival of music, entertainment, food and culture celebrates and recognizes the diversity at CSB and SJU through student performances, cultural food sampling and a fashion show.

“Our hope is for all participants to take advantage of and appreciate the time, energy and effort that so many have put into making this an annual event for 20 years, and how this is just one opportunity for people to learn about others in fun ways,” said Brandyn Woodard, director of IISS.

“We’d love for folks to walk away from the event encouraged to continue conversations, do some more reading and learning, and figuring out how they can contribute to our institutions’ efforts to actually demonstrate welcoming and inclusion,” Woodard added.

Past Festival of Cultures have included traditional Bahamian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Japanese and Indian dances, as well as Latino, Chinese, and Hmong songs, with some spoken word poetry performances.

Cultures were represented at over 30 cultural booths in 2016, including Bahamas, Ireland, China, Ethiopia, Japan, Poland, Yup'ik Alaska Native and South Korea.

The festival also includes students from the United States who have strong affinity to other countries, as well as varying cultures within the United States.