by Chloe Field
This week, the College of Charleston community will get to travel the world without ever leaving campus.
Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to the annual World Cultures Fair at the College of Charleston’s Stern Center Gardens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. The fair, now in its ninth year, is hosted by the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs and features food, music, crafts and exhibitions from nations across the globe, says French instructor and fair organizer Kathy Kaufmann.
“I’ll dare to venture that the World Cultures Fair is the most colorful event on campus,” says Kaufmann. “Loud, bustling and chaotic at times, the fair brings what many of us love about international travel right to our very own campus. From bright international attire, to exotic aromas of regional foods, to vibrant and lively multicultural performances, the World Cultures Fair spins you around globe without you ever leaving Charleston.”
While many CofC students experience diverse cultures through various study abroad programs, the World Cultures Fair brings those experiences directly to students. The festival’s entertainment roster includes student, faculty, and community performers and will represent nearly every culture and language taught at the College.
Among this year’s newcomers is Peter Kfoury, also known as “The Oud Dude.” Kaufmann says Kfoury’s act will take spectators on a Middle Eastern musical journey — and teach them what an oud is. Several favorites will also be returning, including CofC Belly Dance, CofC Gospel Choir, Dancing Beena, the lion dance, capoeira, and henna artists.
Attendees will enjoy a variety of authentic cuisines prepared by Aramark, as the fair will feature a different food theme each hour. This year, the food themes are Andaman (Thai, Indian and Indonesian), Caribbean and Mediterranean.
The food and music are only two of the reasons to attend this year’s fair. Students will also get an opportunity to learn more about the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs and its unique cultural offerings.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend and are encouraged to dress festively in celebration of the blending of cultures that the fair recognizes.
“My hope for this event is that people will come away appreciating the diversity of our many cultures while also understanding the multitude of commonalities we all share,” Kaufmann says.
For more information, please contact Kaufmann, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chloe Field is a senior from Pittsburgh studying communication and political science in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. She is also a writing consultant at the Center for Student Learning.