WMU News

International Festival, Malaysian Night widen Kalamazoo's world

March 5, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Whether you're hungering for hummus, salivating for samba music or thirsting for exotic threads, Western Michigan University's 14th annual International Festival will be the place to be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 23, in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

Members of the public are invited to attend this free global open house. Many of WMU's international students will be on hand, serving up inexpensive ethnic food, providing entertainment and dressing in traditional costumes.

The public also is invited to buy tickets for Malaysian Night, 7 p.m. Friday, March 21, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. The night will feature authentic cuisine and a performance of the play "Red Hibiscus," which traces Malaysia's multiethnic history from 3,500 B.C. to today.

"WMU's more than 2,000 international students represent 103 nations and are a valuable intercultural resource for Southwest Michigan," says Jin Abe, admissions/program coordinator in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

"The International Festival gives area residents a chance to mingle and talk with people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Central and South America. It's a great way to experience and appreciate the diversity of cultures we have here at WMU."

Those attending this year's event will be able to dine and view displays of cultural artifacts beginning at 4 p.m., enjoy a two-part talent show that will showcase performers from around the globe at 5 and 6:45 p.m., and sit in on a Worldwide Fashion Show at 6 p.m. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the festival's "outstanding student organization."

International Festival 2003 is being organized by WMU's International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board with Student Assessment Fee funds. Sponsors include the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Student Activities and Leadership Programs, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Cultural Events and Graduate Student Advisory committees.

For more information about International Night, call Abe at (269) 387-5872 or visit the Web site at <www.wmich.edu/oiss>.

Malaysian Night is being sponsored by WMU's Malaysian Student Organization. Tickets for this semi-formal event cost $8 to $10, depending on the date purchased, and may be obtained online at <http://www.msowmu.org>, at the door, or between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 12, 18 and 19 at ticket tables in the Bernhard Center's Bronco Mall.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu


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