By Alex Tompkins —
The University of Louisville hosted the “Festival of Languages: Cultures around the World” event in the Red Barn March 4. The festival is way for students to learn the importance of different cultures around the world.
Upon entry, the event was already a massive scene: parades of students and faculty, flying paper fish and the aroma of amazing dishes from around the world. The event hosted culturally specific acts on stage such as belly dancing, interactive Tai Chi, Chinese yo-yo and a live band performing Latin American music.
Multiple booths were set up to represent different cultures and provide facts and fun activities relating to the cultures showcased. There were even pastries and dishes being handed out from each booth to give students a taste of different foods.
Among the booths were Latin America, Germany and China. Each booth was accompanied by eager student volunteers that were knowledgeable about their booth’s culture.
Germany’s booth was set up much like the others; a tri-fold with facts and a table with treats specific to the culture. Students were taught a German greeting, and upon learning the response, they were rewarded with their choice of treats to choose from, including sweet tea, ginger cookies and chocolate cake.
It was obvious that each student was invested and truly involved in learning the cultures of the booth they worked at or visited. Not only were some students learning about different cultures, but others were teaching them.
Many wore traditional garb, including festival wear specific to the country’s annual holidays and events.
Many students were fascinated and pleased with the other booths and the inclusivity the event had to offer.
“I think the event was important in helping people to understand how language could allow different opportunities and ways to connect with others from different cultures,” said junior Sarah Coffman. “It brings awareness to all of the different languages spoken, even here on campus.”
Photo by Anthony Riley