On Wednesday, Nov. 9, representatives from 32 nations across the globe gathered together in the Fulkerson Center for Missouri Western’s 2022 International Fair. Each booth was assigned a country and featured food and refreshments specific to the nation. Poster Boards were featured on the tables with information and fun facts about the culture. Representatives wore clothing based on their heritage while helping greet and serve food as visitors passed by. Various performances were also featured on the main stage throughout the evening.
Farisha Radzi is the President of the International Student Club (ISC) at Missouri Western. She put months of hard work into planning the fair, and was satisfied with the results.
“Over the summer, we reserved a room in Fulkerson and we've been gathering participants since the beginning of the school year,” Radzi said. The turnout exceeded expectations, we wanted people from all over town to show up and make international students feel welcome.”
The participants were a mix of both Missouri Western students and people in the St. Joseph area. Junior Anya Chavez represented her home nation of Canada by handing out food while wearing a hockey jersey.
“We get used to where we’re from, because that's just where you live,” said Chavez. “When you get the opportunity to come to a different country, you realize there's so many differences and things you can learn from other people’s culture. When you see how much the world has to offer, it opens people's horizons.”
Some participants filled in for friends and family members that couldn’t be in attendance. This was the case for Janet Moore, who represented Ukraine in honor of her adopted daughter.
“Our adopted daughter is from Ukraine and she was unable to be here today,” said Moore. “When we adopted her, we stayed (In Ukraine) for about a month and a half, so we became familiar with the culture. The fair has been a positive experience, it’s enjoyable to see all of the different cultures and to try the foods.”
Student Ethan Crooks ran the America booth for the second year in a row, and claimed that this year’s event was even better than the last.
“This is my 2nd year doing this, it’s been a blast,” Crooks said. “The organizers did a great job this time around, and seeing all of these cultures come together has been special. My favorite part is learning about all of the foods from around the world.”
The fair even featured a Saudi Arabia booth. Saudi representative Abrahim was proud to teach attendees about the ongoing smart city project known as ‘The Line’ taking place in his home country. ‘The Line’ will take approximately 50 years to complete, and is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.
“Most people here are unaware of what’s going on in the middle east or Saudi Arabia,” Abrahim said. “If they are aware of (Saudi Arabia) they usually think of it’s past, but there are plenty of exciting developments occurring right now.”
Missouri Western’s international student body came together in full force, providing three straight hours of food and entertainment. Events like the international fair help solidify the Griffon community and will continue to be held annually. The ISC’s next event will be “International Volleyball Gathering & Games” at 7 p.m on Nov. 15 in the Looney Gym.