It’s been a while but it is still so vivid in my memory. Red, black with smiles on people’s face filled my night. Our International Club has two big main events; International Taste Of UMD and Feast Of Nations. We have been preparing the Feast of nations since last 2013 fall semester. Our theme of 2014 was One love, one world with red and black as theme color. I still remember our club peer adviser recalling with amaze that she still remembers officers spent about half an hour for deciding on colors of napkins. Officers, 7 of us total, we spent so many days with the most 5 hours meeting only for this one event. We all agreed after that no one had ever experienced so many works for one event and gotten out of comfort zone before. For other people it might have looked like just another foreign event where they could try all new food. However, it is not how it felt to me. This position, president of the club may have given me too much biased judgement or reflection on the event or anything that has related, but I can say that it truly did change my boundary. While preparing and after the event, the limitation that I drew faded away. It had same location routine as last year, it started in Ballroom than moved to MPAC ( Marshall Performing Arts Center). When I was hosting 2013 Feast of Nations, I felt great to be on the stage of MPAC and that made me to decide to have same routine. Also I wanted to change from having non-related host to having our own officers who put so much effort in for the event as host.
With that decision the very first step has started
The most hardest part that everyone expected was setting up the theme words but actually as like it was planned, it came to us easier than expected. We were brainstorming and wanted to show that year of 2014 is focused on embracing cultures and we have commonality ultimately. After few more hours of debating, we decided to go with “One love, one world”.
After many days and nights struggling with decisions, we were set up for the big day. Here is some peak of the day.
After several audition times we finally narrowed down with around 18 groups and solos of singing and dancing. Lots of participants tried to represent their own cultures and some also shared their own beautiful talent with very creative ideas. We had around 500 people enjoying the event with great feedback.
So our night was planned in three separate parts; I. Dinner& Fashion show II. Performing show time III. After party with DJ As a first step our e-board took each’s part for example, VP takes Fashion show and manage flow of it with music and pictures, PR takes performing show and check routines, Media Specialists take volunteers and decoration. To make a difference, we added some special details in our fashion show. Usually people just wear different cultures’ clothes and just show people for like 10 seconds.However, we expanded the concept of culture. Culture that not only covers regional district but also timeline, subculture such as school, hiphop etc. We had UMD fashion style which is UMD hoodie with sweatpants and ugly backpack with water bottle, Korean school girls’ fashion, 1920’s high-end fashion, Western cowboy fashion, Pakistani traditional clothes, Indian boys and girls clothes with their style dance movement,,etc. Fashion show MCs were the best I have ever seen. They were funny, fancy,respectful and made very alive stage. Dinner part was very hard. Since we tried to embrace lots of different cultures’ cuisine it was not that easy. But we tried to mix the balance well between Asians and Europeans and Africans and other dish that could represent cultures well.
After party with DJ was to just have fun with people and become one with various of music. We actually had a famous DJ BankE for the night, from 9pm-12am. Just to make sure people get both fun and full, we had chocolate fountain with marsh mellow, fruits and snacks. I could see everyone becoming one with smile on their face. After the night, I passed out with happiness. It has been already four months since it happened. But it is still so vivid in my head and our head. When e-board meet up we can’t help stop talking about all those preparations, stresses and happiness we felt after.
Some may thing it is just another college culture event that they are not comfortable to go. No. You are invited. Let’s be honest, who does not want to stay in comfort zone and don’t feel uncomfortable when confronting differences? You are truly making yourself home when you experience conflicts, tear sharing, laughter and will be able to invite others too. I have been keep telling others since I learned. Come. Put yourself out there and you might find yourself enjoying Korean food or Ethiopian food. All I want to say from this post is that this Feast of Nations gave me precious memory that I can never forget and matured me by communicating with tons of diversities. I am so thankful to be here now.