International Welcome Party invites crowd to travel around the world

Thirteen cultural booths and 10 food booths were present Saturday.

Students from all over the world gather together Saturday at the MU Student Center for the International Welcome Party. They enjoyed food from various countries and exchanged different facts about their home countries.

The annual International Welcome Party was held Saturday night at the Student Center. It featured many booths from different countries and cultures.

The International Programming Committee, a part of the Department of Student Activities, collaborated with the Missouri International Student Council to organize the event, IPC Senior Chair Caitlyn Gallip said.

“I think this event will help the mainstream students learn about all the representations of different cultures on campus,” Gallip said. “For example, not many students know the difference between Malaysian and Taiwanese food, and this event is a fun way to explain the difference in the culture and food. Mizzou has so many diverse cultures and this event is a way to celebrate that diversity on campus.”

Gallip said the turnout was about the same as last year's event but said the setup of the booths was easier and allowed for better flow.

MISC Coordinator Yunah Kim said MISC had a part in co-hosting the event with the IPC.

“I sent out an email to all the international organizations on campus and they have to apply to participate,” Kim said.

Kim and MISC Treasurer Liuan Yang said they both viewed the event as a great chance to advertise their clubs and the different cultures and countries that exist on campus.

Attendees, holding passports, were encouraged to get six stamps from different booths, Gallip said. Student representatives taught them different aspects of their cultures, such as unique artifacts and their languages. After receiving six stamps, attendees could access the food tables, which featured a wide variety of ethnic cuisines.

Thirteen cultural booths and 10 food booths were present Saturday, Gallip said.

Many of the booths had activities that attendees could try, such as weaving dream catchers at the Native American booth and playing a game called Batu Seremban at the Malaysian booth. Batu Seremban involves five beanbags, and the player must throw one up in the air while trying to sweep another beanbag on the table and simultaneously catching the thrown one.

Many of the food items also helped represent the different cultures. At the India food booth, a desert called Gajar Halwa, consisting of carrots, milk and sugar, was served. The Indonesian food table featured a fruit cocktail called Es Teler that contained avocado, coconut milk, jackfruit and skim milk.

Nur Farhana Aminuddin, secretary of the Malaysian Student Association, said she enjoyed participating in the event.

“I think it’s a chance to show the culture of Malaysia," Aminuddin said. “People don’t really know what’s there in Malaysia and where it is on the map.”

African Student Association Vice President Rannetta Rogers said she was happy to be part of the event.

“I enjoyed informing locals and MU students about ASA and Africa,” Rogers said.

Graduate student Beth Hunt said she thought the event was wonderful.

“It was a great way to go around the world to meet people from various backgrounds,” Hunt said.

Graduate student Haiyang Si said he also enjoyed the event. He said he liked the Taiwan booth, which he thought was funny and interesting.

Senior Hong Truong and senior Jordan Tiu both expressed enthusiasm coming to the event. Truong said she loved making the dream catcher, while Tiu said there wasn't a part that he didn’t like.

About 1,000 to 1,500 people attended, Gallip said, including a mixture of international and domestic students. The next multicultural event is the International Night, which is an international talent show at 7 p.m. March 9 at Jesse Hall.

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