Marshall International Festival encourages students to showcase their cultures

A trip around the world to enjoy music, foods, traditional clothing and dances from multiple countries without leaving West Virginia is now possible. Marshall University’s 56th Annual International Festival is fast approaching and is asking students from other countries to participate to represent their cultures. 

“We have students from roughly 60 countries, and usually there are 12 to 15 countries signed up to participate in the festival,” said Jyotsna Patel, program coordinator for the Office of International Student Services at Marshall. “International Festival is a free event, so students please come and participate.” 

The 2019 festival is open to the public and is free of charge to enter. It will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Patel said the goal of the festival is to bring international and domestic students together so they can showcase their countries and also learn different cultures and traditions. Students participating in the festival will have a table display or perform an activity to celebrate their heritage. 

The festival has received positive responses from participants in the past and the hope is that this year it will become an even bigger event, according to Patel.

“There will be a prize for the best table display,” Patel said. “We have three or four judges that are not biased to anyone, and they will go around the tables. They will have a judging sheet and add the points for each table at the end of the festival.”

Local restaurants such as Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse, Jewel City Seafood, New China Garden Buffet and Kustom Kreams will be featured at this year’s International Festival. 

Students who are interested in representing their countries in the International Festival may fill out a survey, and the deadline to sign up is Oct. 11. Those interested may contact Patel for the survey or other questions about the International Festival at [email protected] 

Phuong Anh Do can be contacted at [email protected].