Annual World Fest Event Celebrates DiversityBy freshman Marissa Pappas WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016 - 12:12 PM
The Western New England University United and Mutually Equal student club (U&ME), celebrated the value, beauty, and importance of cultural diversity among students during their 16th annual World Fest event. Rivers Memorial Hall was decorated with flags from dozens of countries as people gathered to experience “The World Through Arts.”
“World Fest explores the beauty that diverse cultures bring to the world through fashion, entertainment, and food,” explained senior and President of U&ME Kiara Don. Dozens of countries including France, England, China, South Korea, Mexico, and Spain, were represented during a dinner fashion and talent show served by U&ME volunteers. International cuisine lined two long buffet tables, offering students and visiting community members an opportunity to get a taste of another culture.
“We have great connections with the multicultural offices at the University of Hartford, Bay Path University, Springfield College, and American International College, so we invite them to World Fest every year.” Don continued. The step group from the University of Hartford, UHA Steppaz, performed, as well as the Triveni School of Dance as they shared a traditional Indian dance. Other cultural dance groups included Kahana Hula, the Caribbean American Dance Company, and salsa dancer Juan Lopez. The Center For Harmony also presented Yang-style Tai Chi for the audience.
In addition to the invited groups, Western New England University students individually shared both their culture and outstanding talent at World Fest. Ariane Cavaye, international student from France, sang two beautiful solos including French song “Je T'aime.” Other University students were involved in the Fashion Showcase. During this portion of the evening, students modeled traditional outfits from countries including Peru, Cape Verde, Jamaica, Pakistan, China, and Venezuela. The last act of the night was given by Sasha Gaulin, who explained and demonstrated the cultural art form called Poi from New Zealand by fearlessly dancing with fire to fast-paced music.
President Anthony Caprio attended the celebration and gave an inspiring address directed at the students, concluding with, “I am so proud of you for sharing your various cultures and celebrating the wonderful diversity we have here at Western New England University.” The 16th annual World Fest was an overwhelming success and demonstrated Western New England University student leadership.