CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - SIU is celebrating a “Taste of Cultures” at their International Festival 2020.
The International Festival 2020 is a celebration of the diversity, inclusiveness and global reach of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
This will be their 58th annual festival.
“Taste of Cultures” started Monday, Feb. 10 and continues through Feb. 14.
“We hope this festival is not only a celebration of our international students, but an opportunity for the campus and the region to get a glimpse into our various cultures and traditions,” said Deekshitha Masani, president of the International Student Council, which leads festival planning.
The university has welcomed international students since 1947.
Currently more than 1,000 international students from about 100 nations call SIU home.
“International students form a vital component of the SIU and Carbondale experience by providing diverse perspectives and unique opportunities for cross-cultural learning,” Andrew Carver, executive director of international affairs, said. “SIU’s international students and families shop in local retail stores, eat in local restaurants, purchase cars and services and attend local schools, generating more than $46 million in economic activity each year.”
The celebration began with the International Parade of Flags at 10 a.m. on Monday.
Students, faculty, staff and community members, walked across campus from Woody Hall to the Student Center carrying flags representing the many countries on campus. Some were wear attire from their native countries.
The official proclamation and university welcome ceremony was at 10:30 a.m. in the Student Center’s International Lounge.
Chancellor John M. Dunn issued the official proclamation with Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Meera Komarraju and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry participated as well.
The International Food Fair began at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the Student Center Ballrooms.
It featured cuisine from all over the world.
SIU students prepared and served popular dishes from their own countries. Visitors got the chance to try foods they’ve never eaten before.