For it’s third year, Culture Fest has provided students, international and not, with an open tent filled with good food, great company and amazing performances from all around the world.
“Our slogan is, ‘Celebrate Diversity…Celebrate You,’” said Carlos Stewart, assistant director of multicultural affairs. “Everybody is diverse, so we want to emphasize that everyone has a unique and different heritage.”
Starting in the spring, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for International Programs begin planning for the festival. Over the course of the year they have four to five meetings and hope to welcome students onto the committee this coming year.
“We don’t have any students on the committee currently but it would be great to have their input,” Stewart said. “They are always welcome to join.”
Besides OMA and CIP, several other organizations on campus sponsor the event, from dining services to campus recreation to the Women’s Center. Eleven diverse sponsors on campus come together to put on this cultural experience.
“OMA and CIP may take the lead but this event is really a collaborative effort,” Stewart said. “We couldn’t pull it off without the help and support of these other groups. I would especially like to give a shout out to dining services; without them there wouldn’t be any food, which is a big draw for the students.”
Speaking of the food, dishes representing the West Indies, Cuba, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East are all prepared by UD’s very own chefs. Extra time is spent making sure the food is as authentic as possible to give students and community members a real taste of a culture outside of their own.
“Last year an estimated 2,000 people attended and this year looks about to be the same,” Stewart said. “Every food choice got very high marks from our surveys.”
Stewart was right in his estimate, and on Wednesday, Sept. 18th, the white tent in the middle of Central Mall was packed with students and community members alike. Booths from different student organizations offered information and conversation while the stage was alight with singers, dancers and people from the crowd sharing their own cultural diversity.
Everyone came together simply to celebrate you.