MISA’s Feast of Nations 2018
Celebrating multiculturalism within the University community
By: Sylvia Rani
Hundreds of people filled the Great Hall at Coffman Memorial Union on Saturday, October 20th for the Minnesota International Student Association’s annual Feast of Nations. The event was a celebration of the many cultures and cuisines that international students bring to the University of Minnesota.
The night began with musical performances from various cultural student groups. The Omani Student Union performed a traditional Al Ayala dance, wielding long embellished sticks called “assa.” The Minnesota K-pop Dance Crew performed a high-energy choreographed set. Gayathri Dileepan, an undergraduate student in the College of Biological Sciences, performed a traditional South Indian dance about the sun god. “This event was important for me because I really love being able to show my dance and my culture,” said Dileepan, who has been dancing for eleven years.
After the cultural performances had concluded, the feast began. Attendees were served a variety of dishes including papaya salad, tikka masala, and tiramisu, to name a few. Beverage choices were lychee juice, milk tea, and mango juice.
The night concluded with a multicultural fashion show. Models sashayed down the runway donning traditional garments of their countries. It was an extravaganza of vibrant colors, flowy silhouettes, meticulous makeup, and cultural pride.
“I’ve heard of a lot of student groups here that I didn’t even know existed,” said junior Natasha Sohni. On a campus of roughly 50,000 students and over 300 cultural student groups, the Feast of Nations aims to help the community of international students feel a little less dispersed. “I like this event because it creates awareness of the growing diversity that we have here on campus,” Sohni continued, “As well as bridging the gap between those who aren’t international students and those who are.”