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Enjoy the Color and Culture of Carleton's International Festival!

May 4, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Carleton College’s International Festival, a yearly event showcasing the diversity of the student body and featuring food, workshops and events from around the globe, will be held this year on Saturday, May 5. This year’s theme is “Around the World in 80 Minutes.” The festival is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. on the Bald Spot (to be changed to the Sayles-Hill Great Space in case of rain), and it is free and open to the public, although donations to the TORCH program are being greatly encouraged.

The festival is run by the College’s Office of Intercultural and International Life (OIIL) and an International Festival Committee, comprised of a “wide group” of students, according to associate director of intercultural and international life, Luyen Phan. International students currently comprise around 8% of Carleton’s student body and hail from such diverse countries as Azerbaijan, New Zealand, Burkina Faso, and Turkey. The festival is designed to showcase the cultures of Carleton’s international students and to encourage cultural and international awareness.

Any student can sign up to cook at the festival, and many international students take the opportunity to share foods from their home countries. This year around 15 groups and individuals will prepare food for the festival. Besides the free food, the international festival features student song and dance performances—there will be around 14 this year—as well as plenty of cultural workshops. Past festivals have included artistic workshops in salsa dancing, henna, origami, and more.

This year’s festival will also raise money for Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes (TORCH), an after-school mentoring program for Northfield students from marginalized backgrounds. The festival will include a silent auction—the grand prize is a meal for five people with President Steven Poskanzer—with all proceeds going to TORCH.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Sayles-Hill Campus Center is located at the end of College Street on the Carleton campus. The Bald Spot is also located off College Street, on the center of campus.