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International Festival takes attendees on world tour

March 12, 2010

KALAMAZOO--The music, dance, food and fashions of 15 cultures representing five continents will be spotlighted during Western Michigan University's 2010 International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 21, on campus in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

The event features display tables, cultural performances and a fashion show. Admission is free, and for a nominal fee, attendees may sample traditional foods prepared by international students in campus kitchens under the supervision of employees of WMU Dining Services.

International Festival annually attracts about 3,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of cultures prevalent at WMU.

The University enrolls some 1,250 international students from 90 countries and hosts more than 20 international students groups, most of which participate in the festival. This year, representatives from the following student groups are participating: Asian Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Dominicans, Latinos, Indians, Iranians, Japanese, Malaysian, Muslims, Russians, Saudi Arabians, central Eurasian studies, Taiwanese and Thai.

"An enormous level of cultural collaboration occurs over a period of several months involving numerous students, domestic and international, to create and showcase many of the world's cultures in one ballroom," says Nick DiFranco, programming chair for the 2010 International Festival. "It's a remarkable day to learn more about our friends and their homelands from around the globe."

The festival is organized by WMU's International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board and is co-sponsored by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Division of Student Affairs, University Cultural Events Committee, Graduate Student Advisory Committee, Western Student Association and FedEx.

For more information, contact Nick DiFranco at nicholas.a.difranco@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5872 or Kimberly Ritter at kimberly.ritter@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5859.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400