Cultural Performances Planned for UCO’s International Festival
Informational booths about different countries, food samplings and cultural performances will take place this Saturday, Nov. 12 at the University of Central Oklahoma’s International Festival. The event will be located at Farmers Market in Edmond from noon to 3:30 p.m.
UCO’s 41th International Festival will bring great recognition for diversity, as different cultures will be able to show their unique tastes and talents, said Zlatina Dineva, Chairwoman of the International Festival.
“It’s important [to host this event] because UCO has a huge international community, and international students come here every single semester … It is important so that people [in] the Edmond community would understand and learn more about people from different countries, rather than just hearing about them,” Dineva said.
According to Dineva, the process to organize the International Festival took over two months and required the help from every officer at the student council. As a chair person, Dineva needed to delegate all the tasks that needed to be done for the festival to be successful and keep track of everyone’s job, she said.
“We encourage people to come [to the event] because America is such a diverse country. Representing so many countries here at UCO—it’s a huge deal. [The] Edmond community is a big community, and we hope that we will educate them for more than what is already represented here in America,” Dineva said.
June Chon, President of United Student Council, said that UCO is a globally-minded school that gives great opportunity for international students.
At this unique event, 14 countries will display food samples, traditional decoration and live performances. For each country, three traditional dishes will be offered for participants.
“So we have 15 country associations under the international student council, and 14 of them will be participating in the international festival. [These associations] have their officers and their members, and they are pulling all this together because they are the main people in the event doing the food, booth and the performances … They are sort of the stars in our show,” Chon said.
According to Chon, the reason why not all countries will be represented at the event is because one of the organizations was lacking members to be able to put up a show.
Showcases will include countries, regions and continents including China, Africa, Europe, India, Japan, Latin America, South Korea, the Caribbean, Nepal, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
“We are hoping to expand and expect more. Our long-term dream is to have it on Broadway, where they have to close the streets and all that. We are hoping to do that, but we are not big enough right now—but we are hoping to get at least three thousand participants this year,” Chon said.
Last year’s International Festival had over two thousand attendees.