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Annual International Bazaar brings different cultures together for a night of entertainment

March 30, 2016

On Tuesday, March 29, the Global Programming Society hosted an International Bazaar in the University Center Ballroom. The Bazaar, an annual event, featured two parts: first, a dinner with a variety of ethnic foods, and second, a show with a variety of performances inspired by different cultures.

Entrance to the dinner, although free, required a ticket, which could be picked up in the University Center. A thick line of people wound around an upstairs hallway, where tickets were picked up and where people gradually moved through a buffet and into the ballroom. The Bazaar drew a large number of participants; the tables in the ballroom were full as people moved in and out to eat. Participants had the option of three different dining times, with the show starting at 8 p.m.

The two selling points of the Bazaar were free food and entertainment, but the simple lure of eating for free was definitely exceeded by the Bazaar’s cuisine. A buffet line featuring foods from different countries was set up for participants to wander through, and the food was diverse as well as delicious. It varied, from ceviche to churros to melon cubes wrapped in ham. Dishes were offered in small portions, perfect for sampling multiple foods, and often in cups, so that the foods wouldn’t mix.

“It’s nice to try new things, whether it’s a new food you’ve never had before, or you’re just learning something about a new country,” said Antonio Monturiol. He’s a member of the Global Programming Club, and helped serve in the buffet before sitting down to eat. “And, it’s free food,” he added.

Monturiol’s journey to the International Bazaar was a long one. He ended up in the Global Programming Club after being persuaded to by a friend he met at the Chinese Round Table, a casual place to converse with professional speakers where he went for extra Chinese practice. His friend urged him to go to the Involvement Center, where she pointed out clubs that she thought he would enjoy. Monturiol’s participation in the Bazaar started then, and he was put on a committee to oversee auditions for the live entertainment.

This was the second selling point for the Bazaar: the variety show. If people had come for the food, they stayed for the entertainment, which was the highlight of the evening. Various acts performed in the Falcon’s Nest, ranging from dancing to singing to a plethora of musical instruments. Despite a few technical glitches, the show was lively, including audience participation and dynamic acts, put on by truly talented performers.

Listening to the auditions for the entertainment was Monturiol’s favorite part of the whole Bazaar, he said. “I love seeing how people do what they love,” he explained. “How people channel their passions.”

Another student in attendance was Leaonna Bernier, and her favorite part of the evening was also the entertainment. “I thought all the different acts were cool,” she said. However, she said she also enjoyed the dinner, especially the variety. “I’d never even seen half of those things before,” she remembered. She describes her favorite dish, the chicken: “It had some really different, but cool, seasoning.”

In contrast to Monturiol’s chain of events, Bernier heard about the Bazaar from a friend and decided to go.

“I liked it because it was something that I had never tried, or seen, before. It was different,” she said. Berneir said that she would encourage people to go to the next International Bazaar.
Monturiol agreed. “Attend,” he said. “It’s definitely worth it, maybe just find a new friend, somebody who just happened to also come to the Bazaar. It’s a really great setting to meet new people.”