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RC Festival Goes International

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Staff Writer

Roanoke College’s International Club hosted its annual International Festival on Feb 10.  Faculty from the foreign language department and students who traveled abroad all gathered to represent over thirty countries.

 Aside from the various booths, which displayed native customs ranging from wood chiseling to origami, there were other presentations.  RC’s own, Professor Zuheil Banuelos demonstrated flamenco dancing.  She revealed technical foot shuffling as well as seamless twists and circles with her hands and feet that accentuated the bright ruffles in her dress.

 Another performing group included a Brazilian Jazz ensemble led by Associate Professor of the Fine Arts Department, Dr. Joseph Blaha and included RC students. 

 “We were glad to add another sensory experience to the festival. The Brazilian music acted as another flavor in the air and added the aroma to help heighten the full cultural experience,” Blaha said.

 Indeed, aside from the musical diversions, there were many other treats to fulfill the senses.  However, this time, it was food.

 “It was a great experience to see cultures from all over the world, but most importantly it was great to try their food!” said Shannon Darring ’13.

  From Venezuela, one could sample chocolate, espresso beans, or jelly candies; from Germany, one could try cheesecake or gummy bears; and the Japanese booth offered freshly rolled sushi.  More ethnic samples were available at every turn.

 Some booths were even offering to translate names.  One could get their name written into Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit.

   Apart from learning about different cultures, the event was an excellent opportunity for current RC students to talk with other students who have traveled to other countries. Interested students were able to get feedback on the whole experience. And with the Study Abroad Coordinator, Scott Couchman, readily available at a nearby booth, all questions could be answered.

To finish off the event, MiaoJing Li ’12 played of couple tunes on the guzheng.  The instrument, native to China and consisting between 16 and18 strings, is usually plucked rather than stroked.  The faint, yet intriguing music of the instrument is no doubt familiar to most of us, but the majority has never seen the instrument that goes along with the sound.

 “It’s really interesting to see what you normally only hear. It’s so cool to actually watch it happening,” said Yuki Yamazaki ‘13

   The event turned out to be a great success.

 “We had a really great turn out.  I’m really pleased,” said director of International Education, Lorraine Fleck. 

Be sure to come out for the festivities next year!

Photo Credit: College Education of Missouri