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A celebration of culture at International Bazaar

April 16, 2008

Every spring for the past 20 years, UW-River Falls has held an International Bazaar to share the cultures of the international students with the River Falls community.

On April 10 there were ten countries represented: China, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Kenya, Taiwan, India, Japan and Bulgaria, with the opportunity for community members to taste food from these cultures and have a night of entertainment.

“There was about 20 International Student Association [ISA] members that were working and setting up prior to the event, and almost all the ISA members were helping at the bazaar with serving food, hosting and performing,” Momoko Deguchi, senior and ISA president, said.

“Automatically all the international students become members of ISA. I was involved in the International Bazaar last year and it was a wonderful experience to organize the biggest event that we hold,” Deguchi said. “I think it is a good chance for UWRF students to see what our cultures are like.”

There was a video documenting Linda Alvarez’s trip to see the orphans of Kiambu. She had with her donations of food and clothing for the families in the slums of Nyrobi, and a video of the UWRF students involved in Global Connections volunteering around the world and taking advantage of the study abroad program.

During dinner there was entertainment including two Japanese songs from Saori Ugaeri, martial arts performed by Kenny Yoo and an Indonesian song from Georgius Muljadi about memories and a child’s appreciation for its mother.

In addition to the entertainment, a variety of food from across the globe kept those in attendance well fed. The popular Kenyan dish, Sukuma Wiki, is an inexpensive and healthy dish. The name translates to “push the week,” as it helps a family’s money go further. It consists of greens, sautéed onions, red peppers and hot peppers.

Other dishes served were Poutine, a favorite from Canada made of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy; Taiwanese deep fried sweet potatoes; four happiness pork, a Chinese dish; and hot kimchi pickles from Korea. For dessert there was green tea cheesecake; Orehovy Medenky, a honey walnut cookie from Bulgaria; and Bubble Tea, known as “Boba,” from Taiwan, which is a hot sweetened tea with milk and tapioca.

“There was a fashion show, dances from all over the world including hip hop, break dancing and a Japanese dance as well as a few short plays,” Katie Oenga, study abroad and international student adviser, said.

This event was a way for UWRF to show the community its understanding and acceptance of other cultures.

“Understanding other cultures is the way to world peace,” Oenga said.