Montclair State University raises cultural awareness by hosting World’s Fair.
As finals approach for the end of the spring semester at Montclair State University, students and faculty were treated to a week-long set of events during the last full week of April. One of the highlight events of the week was the World’s Fair, held on Thursday, April 24 in the Student Center Quad. Clubs and organizations from the university had tables set along the quad where people could stop by to learn some information about what they do, and often get a giveaway too. Starting at 10 a.m., people could get airbrush and henna tattoos, but the majority of the activities started at noon and lasted for two hours.
There was plenty of free food, drinks and giveaways at the World’s Fair. DJ Ridd played music in the background. Lines for food were at the top steps of the quad nearest to the front of the Student Center, where delicacies from many cultures were being offered. From samosas and meatballs to falafel and eggrolls, the ethnic diversity was apparent just eating the food. Another line for other international food was at the bottom of the stairs, where students and faculty could line up to try Haitian fried turkey, empanadas from Latin America and Turkish baklava. As if that was not enough, ice cream trucks were stationed in front of Mallory Hall, and many student clubs and organizations had their own additional food for sampling. Vendors like Pepsi and Coke also made appearances and gave away free drinks.
Besides the food, organizations had interesting information to share. One table, headed by the Earth and Environmental Studies department, had bottled water from countries all over the world. People were free to sample carbonated and non-carbonated water from countries like Norway, Japan, Serbia, South Korea, Italy and Russia. After sampling any number of water brands, green stickers were given to be placed next to the country’s water brand that the person liked the most. By the end of the event, a water brand from Japan had the most stickers next to it.
Another table, from the University Health Center (UHC) had free information and giveaways, like sunblock, condoms and coffee, with their goal to promote healthy behavior and practices. The Indian Culture Club gave away mango drinks and free food. The university was promoting the upcoming Summer Sessions by giving away free t-shirts.
The second half of the World’s Fair was filled with performances. There were Turkish dancers, dancers from the Indian Culture Club and a performance from the Organization of Students for African Unity (OSAU) gospel choir. Crowds gathered to watch the students who have practiced throughout the semester give their all. Every performance was done with practiced execution and was met with much applause and praise from the audience.
World’s Fair festivities came to an end at 2 p.m., and many people were disappointed that it ended so soon. The diversity and fun atmosphere the numerous clubs provided really attracted many people to the event and made them stay for the entire duration. Not even snow during the beginning of activities deterred people from enjoying themselves.
The World’s Fair proved to be successful again at MSU. Students and faculty came together to share their knowledge and information about their various cultures. As a school of thousands, it was a great way to bring everyone closer together as a community.