WorldFest brings different faiths, cultures together

By Katy Raynes


World music, free popcorn, henna tattoos, and international foods enticed the University of the Incarnate Word community to experience WorldFest on Dubuis Lawn Monday, Nov. 11.

The Department of International Affairs partnered with the Asian Culture Club, History Club, Saudi Club, Interfaith Club, Study Abroad Office, Institute of World Cultures and the ELS Language Center to promote multicultural learning. The two-hour WorldFest was the first event to kick off International Education Week.

At the outdoor event, many booths were set up, as well as tables and chairs for attendees to sit on and to take in the atmosphere. Flags from around the world decorated the lawn.

Dr. Lopita Nath, one of the representatives of the History Club, was giving free henna tattoos.

“This would cost about $15 on a normal day,” Nath said. “But today it’s free for a good cause and learning experience.”

She said the events of International Education Week, and WorldFest in particular, will raise awareness and curiosity among the students at UIW.

“The benefit of this event I think is to be more aware of what different cultures and countries are doing,” Nath said. “It showcases the diversity we have on campus and allows students to get an insight to how the campus is changing. It really shows the changing of colors on the campus.”

Similarly, Kelsee McVey, representative of the Asian Culture Club, said WorldFest helps students, staff and faculty gain exposure to world culture.

“The biggest profit of this event is for students to realize how international UIW has become,” McVey said. “The ELS students don’t always have the same schedules as us, so we don’t get as much exposure to their cultures and views. This is a good way for people to experience all of the international influence we have on campus.”

Amira Alsareinye, president of the Interfaith Student Organization, said, “Sometimes people have a certain impression of an outside faith or culture. When people carry this kind of stereotype, it closes their mind. The purpose of this event is to enlighten others about new and foreign cultures. When we learn about faiths and cultures other than our own, we expand our minds and help put stereotypes to rest.”


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