Originally written for publishing on April 25, 2013.
The Quad was transformed into a marriage of cultures, colors, and music on Thursday, April 25th for Worldfest. By bringing together the diversity of cultures on campus, Worldfest has managed to unify the campus as well.
Worldfest is an event put together by many different campus divisions such as the Associated Students, Cadena Cultural Center, Fine Arts Division, Interclub Council, Fullerton College faculty, and more. Its main mission is to celebrate world cultures, diversity, and environmental issues as a campus, according to the Cadena Center website.
Students expecting to catch a quick glance of the colorful booths on their way to class are mistaken, can end up drawn into the crowd by the participants at the many tables, promoting their rich culture and important messages.
MEChA, a club on campus, which stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlana, features a table sure to catch the eye.
“MEChA’s purpose at Worldfest is to teach student of the Aztlan culture and reassure the Latino population that it is ok to live a bi-cultural lifestyle. We want to redefine what it means to be American,” said Marissa Gonzalez, secretary of MEChA.
Next to MEChA lies an entire row of tables lining the quad belonging to instructor Kelly Nelson-Wright’s Sociology 225 and Sociology 225H students. Many of Wright’s students took part in Worldfest as an assignment for her class.
The booths her students organized “focused on uncomfortable topics that other students may not be aware of,” said Wright.
One of the tables that Wright’s class organized focused on intimate partner violence.
“Few of us have experienced it personally, and it’s something that can affect you mentally and physically,” said Lankika Arriaga, a FC student.
The other tables Wright’s students organized discussed issues like rape in the military and female genital mutilation in cultures.
The Dream Team, a club on campus focusing on issues concerning undocumented students, featured a table to put out a message of diversity and acceptance of other cultures, according to club member Edward Bombela. Their table also featured free face painting, students lined up to get flags of different nations painted on their face. According to Bombela, when students have such a diversity of flags embellished on their face, we are openly able to see their acceptance of different cultures.
A few feet from these tables, stretched out over the grassy area, spectators are immediately drawn to the enchanting colors and music of the Middle Eastern section of Worldfest.
FC’s Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society exhibited the rich culture and history of Syria, as well as the current state of the nation.
One of the tables within this exhibition was filled with the artifacts of Syrian culture, from apparel to hand made trinkets.
“Syria is known for shell-made items in which they use actual sea shells for jewelry or as engravings to adorn objects,” said Noor Naojjar, one of the volunteers.
In addition, the table also demonstrated the current violence and suffering going on in Syria through Assad’s regime.
“Worldfest is a perfect opportunity for us to educate people about the regime and how they are killing innocent, unarmed people,” said Rim Dakelbob, one of the organizers.
A television sat on top of one of the tables with a constant stream of CNN reports demonstrating the brutal mass killings of innocent civilians that has taken over Syria.
“It was fun, and my favorite part is the performances,” said student Jenny Lopez.
Spectators traveling from table to table could not escape the vibrant performances that took place in the middle of the quad.
The band Foreign Domestics captivated spectators with their performance of all original songs.
“It was really sweet; I liked the vibe and the feeling of unity in the crowd,” said guitarist Hafez Karimi.
“I was nervous, I performed Auana, which is modern Hula that defines stories of places, love, and special events,” said another performer Cynthia Weaver.
Students also illustrated their diversity through chalk art.
“It’s really cool taking part in this,” said Students Gloria Betancourt, recreating a Najavo Sand Art piece.
Another chalk artist was Jeffrey Tutop, recreating a scene of his grandpa in the farms of the Philippines.
“I want to portray my culture and how some of my family started out as farmers, it was a hard lifestyle,” said Tutop.
Overall Worldfest brought a celebration of culture and diversity that transformed the Quad today. It served to educate students of the influx of cultures that roam Fullerton College’s campus.
“It was a fun event, I saw a lot of cultures that I did not even know of before,” said student Susana Flores.