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by Rachel Toyer, staff writer

 

The HPU community had the opportunity to visit more than 20 different countries without leaving Fort Street Mall on April 20. HPU’s 23rd annual Intercultural Day was celebrated with booths displaying different cultural highlights and traditions from each of the different countries that participated. Students shared food, games, dances, and costumes from all over the world, promoted pride for their countries, and sponsored local charities.

Students who walked by the country of France could donate a $1 to the Arthritis Foundation and be automatically entered to win two tickets to Hawaiian Water Adventures valued at $70. Students from Brazil gave a coupon for a free acai berry smoothie from Vita Juice to anyone interested in learning the Forro, a traditional dance.

“ It’s good to see students at our age so enthusiastic to share their background,” said James Johnson, 24, a communication major who was enjoying all the excitement.

The Black Student Union did a display of the Harlem Renaissance, with music from Billie Holiday and poetry by Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes. BSU President Justin Smith handed out “Red Drank” Kool-Aid to thirsty students who were walking along the mall.

“ We just wanted to offer people something cool to drink,” Smith said, “Black people love Kool-Aid and we wanted to share what we like with others.”

The Irish Heritage Student Association created an “Irish Pub” with “root” beer props, four-leaf clover key chains, and Luck of the Irish bracelets. Ireland took second place in the competition amongst all the different countries. This was the first year that the Irish students participated.

“ It was important to us to do something new,” said Vice President Alicia Kubert. “We had a lot of fun planning and participating in this event.”

The Saudi Arabia booth took first prize in the competition and enlightened students by translating and writing names in Arabic.

A parade of all the countries began at 11:30 a.m. at the mauka end of the mall and proceeded through downtown with flags and banners.

The parade was followed by the presentation of first-place trophies to the school by the award-winning cheerleading and dance teams. Dance performances by participating countries started at 1:30 p.m. and included traditional dances from Samoa, Thailand, Japan, Poland, China, and the Middle East. The HPU resident advisors reprised their award-winning Da Freakshow performance. The United Samoan Organization took first place, as they have for the past several years.


Saudi Arabia took first place in the booth competition.

Photo by Eddie London

 

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