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Caribbean Cultural Bazaar

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On Friday, February 7th students were invited to share in the cultural experience of the Caribbean Bazaar. One of the main organizers of the event was Juliet Lowery who stated that the importance of the bazaar was “Just to spread information about the various cultures found on the Caribbean Islands. Many students who attend Roanoke College are from the islands and it’s good to show the cultural differences when compared to the States.” She went on to say that the goal of the Bazaar was to, “Share cultural awareness and embrace differences.” This event was designed to have three mini events which took place right after the preceding one and showed a different aspect of the Caribbean Islands.

The first activity was a sand craft held in the Main Atrium of Colket Center at 7:00 p.m. This cute activity allowed students to fill small bottles with a rainbow variety of colored sand. The simple craft was intended to draw students to the event and get them into a colorful and celebratory mood.

The next stage of the event was going to be presentations done by some of the international students on what life is like on an island country. Some of the islands to be represented were Barbados, Jamaica, The Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Unfortunately, there was a miss-communication and the presentations were not held according to plan. The various presentations, supposed to start at 7:30, were cancelled completely.  This left only the concert which would take place at 8:30.

The concert was held in the Wortmann Ballroom, but before it began, a variety of food was provided to the students including buffalo wings, fresh fruit, mini eggrolls, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.  Beginning at 8:40, the three-person band called Ewabo filled the room with modern hits which were re-vitalized to be played using an island style. Sadly free food and music was not enough to draw many students to the event with only about 30 students in attendance who fluctuated in and down throughout the concert.  With the wonderful music of Ewabo in the background, two moments stood out to highlight this cultural festivity. The first was a long limbo line which had everyone excitedly trying to go as low as possible and determined not to fall. The second was a group of three dancers on stilts dressed in traditional celebration garb who were called Moko Jumbi.  The amazing act allowed students a glimpse into a Caribbean festival. Student Lydiah Odero commented on the concert saying, “The music was great and very enjoyable.” Her friend Safiat Salam chimed in by saying, “I agree and more students need to come out because they are truly missing out.” The band played on bringing joy to the attendants and ending the night on a high note.

Although it had a rough start, the event was greatly enjoyed by the few in attendance. With more advertising and a clearer schedule, the event could have had even more success.  A student in attendance named Ready Berehe shared her feeling about the event by saying, “I think it was good to have it because it gives students the chance to learn about the Caribbean and diversity among students.” Should the event occur next year, the hope is to ensure more people get to experience a little piece of the Caribbean Islands.