International Festival promotes the sharing of cultures, traditions

More stories from Michael Brown


Michael Brown

Particpants of the International Festival pose for a picture.


Cultures from around the world were represented Sunday at the International Festival at the Big Sandy Arena.

The event, held by the Marshall University Center for International Programs, was free to the public and gave people in attendance the opportunity to take a look at cultures and countries from all over.

Twenty different countries and organizations had booths set up where they were answering questions, displaying art, giving out food samples and more.

“I was really interested about the diversity and to see how every country or culture would come out and represent themselves today,” said recent graduate, Claudine Dalberiste. “Everyone is an ingredient to this atmosphere, I feel like everyone brings a new tradition and new culture to this melting pot here in Huntington.”

“I came out today to perform with the Indian Student Association,” said senior public health major Meena Elango. “Today is a great example of how cultures are able to represent themselves in Huntington. If you weren’t able to come today you missed out on some great food and the opportunity to learn about many different cultures.”

For $5, attendees could purchase food tickets in packs of 10.

Ten restaurants were in attendance, including Julian’s Market, Fratelli’s Italian Restaurant, Casa Grande, New China Garden Buffet, Black Sheep Burrito And Brews, Chateau D’Italia, La Famiglia, Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Sodexo.

Kay Kamtui, senior biology major, attended to represent Thailand.

“We wanted to show people our heritage,” Kamtui said. “We are giving a little info, showing our language, our temples and the alphabet. I don’t think people realize that both the United States and Thailand have been such big allies for such a long time.”

Not only were attendees able to look at booths set up by organizations, they were able to witness groups display native dances and watch a world fashion show.

Fans had the chance to see Batman and the Batmobile outside of the Big Sandy Arena before the event.

“This is our fourth time participating in this event today,” Saudi Arabia Student Association president Abdullah Asiri said. Now we’ve come out today with the biggest section in the entire event today. We’ve invited the Mayor to come out with us to cut a cake as we celebrate our fourth anniversary here today. It’s an honor to be able to here and exchange cultures and knowledge with everyone.”

Michael Brown can be contacted at [email protected]