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International Bazaar showcases different cultures

April 1, 2015

The International Bazaar hosted by UW-River Falls’ Global Programming Society (GPS) saw over 600 students in attendance.

The International Bazaar is an event that has been on campus for over 10 years. The event is one where students are encouraged to learn about various cultures around the world. The event saw nine different countries presented. These countries included: China, Italy, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, France and Spain.

The event was divided into two different areas, a dinner and a talent show. At the dinner students could enjoy different foods from these countries. Some of these foods were Kimchi from South Korea, dumplings from China, and mini quiches from France.

“I thought the experience was very nice,” said senior psychology student Dan Nelson. “I like the fact that they have a bunch of different ethnic foods that you can try, I didn’t stay for the shows, but I have heard very good things about them.”

There were also tables set up with games, giveaways and information about the various cultures. There was also more information on the Global Living Community.

The Global Living Community was created to allow domestic and international students more of an opportunity to live together and learn about each other cultures. The current dorm where this takes place is Crabtree Hall, however it will move to Grimm Hall next year.

The second portion of the International Bazaar was a talent show. It was here where students could showcase a different culture through song and dance. These ranged from swing dances to vocal and piano duets.

The GPS (formally known as the International Student Association) is a student organization designed to help promote an inclusive community, by encouraging domestic students to interact and learn from international students and vice versa. It changed its name to GPS in an effort to be more inclusive to domestic students.

Aside from the International Bazaar, GPS also organizes trips to the Twin Cities, lectures and cultural showcases.

In planning the International Bazaar, there were many committees set up in GPS to help set up this event.

Vice president, marketing coordinator, programming coordinator and treasurer were just a few of the lead positions that GPS President Shensi Wang described.

“We planned this Bazaar from the very beginning of the semester, and this has been over two months, but this has always been the process,” Wang said.

Wang said that each of these positions was in charge of a committee that helped in some aspect of the event. These committees included marketing, food, promotion and money-handling.

Wang went on to say that GPS needed to plan everything from public affairs and promotion to finding recipes and organizing the menu.

The event saw a full house at both the dinner and the show, being one the biggest events on campus. For the rest of the semester, however, GPS only has small potlucks and smaller events planned, as the International Bazaar is its biggest event.