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by Samantha Black, staff writer

 

HPU’s 25th Annual Intercultural Day drew 22 international clubs and thousands of students, staff, and community supporters to an April 17 program and parade.
The event was coordinated by Ann Newton, director of International student services, and Karen Mikel, International student advisor, as well as the Council of Countries, headed by Daniyal Saud, a junior, double majoring in international studies and biochemistry.
Booths representing students’ different countries lined both sides of Fort Street Mall from Beretania Street to Chaplain Lane, some with food for people to try and others with games.
“ Today we’re helping everyone taste a bit of Latin America,” said Ingrid Calderon, a senior business major and president of Latinos Unidos.
The Latin American booth featured traditional music and gave people the opportunity to paint their own maracas, which the club bought with member donations and had shipped to Hawai‘i for the event.
The Marine Science Club’s theme was the islands of Greece, with a model volcano and students wearing togas. A touch tank held sea cucumbers and hermit crabs for people to touch.
“ It’s an island close to marine science,” said Natalie Kulick, a sophomore marine biology major who mentioned that they had wanted to do a booth on Atlantis but were told to recreate a real place.
“ Usually science clubs do not participate [in Intercultural Day],”Kulick added, “but we wanted to be the first science club to participate in events on both the downtown campus and the Hawai‘i Loa campus.”
The China booth featured a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony and distributed information about their culture. There was even someone in a panda costume ready to take pictures with passersby. Anyone who stopped at the booth was greeted in Chinese.
The Malaysian students hung posters celebrating the 50th year of nationhood for their country and dressed in traditional clothing.
The Saudi Arabian booth allowed people to try on clothing from the country and have their picture taken dressed in the costumes. People posed with swords and women were given a teapot to pretend to pour tea for others. Before they left, their names were written out for them in Arabic that they could take home.
“ [We participated] because Saudi culture is a new culture to Hawai‘i; we’ve been here two years, and we want everyone to see what we have,” said Husain Almansour a third-year master’s student in information systems. “So far people love it and are taking pictures,” he said of his booth.
Students from Singapore set up a pasarmalam, or a night market, for their booth, along with a game of hopscotch.
All of the participants gathered together for a group photo in the courtyard area on Fort Street Mall before beginning the parade that led them down King, Bishop, and Beretania streets then returned to Fort Street Mall.
The climax of the event was when students gathered onstage to demonstrate song, dance, music, costumes, and practices representing their culture.
China won first place in both the booth and performance categories. Students demonstrated three specific areas of Chinese history including: the Silk Road, tai chi and kung fu.
Norway came in second for performance with music, polka, Scottish, and a traditional folk dance called Gangar—or The Walker.
“ I was a little bit nervous before I got on stage,” said Ida Killengberg, a second-year business administration master’s student who played the accordian for the performance. “I’ve played for 15 years but always get a little nervous. It was also a lot of fun,” said Killengberg.
Taiwan earned third place for their performance of an aboriginal dance from the a-Mei tribe; a tribal song by a famous Taiwanese a-Mei singer was used as background music.
Maylasia and Saudi Arabia took second and third place, respectively in the booth contest.

 

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