In the midst of the warmth from the blazing sun, a sea of colors and flags were spread across the Quad symbolizing a unity that could not be divided. Despite the low turnout, participants actively engaged the people who did show up for their cause.
Cultures, people, diversity and the Earth were celebrated on campus at the third annual Worldfest hosted by the Cadena Center on Thursday.
The Quad was filled with booths representing the many cultures and ethnic groups of the world and reflected the diversity of the student body.
In the center of it all sat the World Stage as DJ, Deejay Carlos Sanchez, led the transitions of the event and played modern music as students and faculty learned and embraced each other’s culture.
“This is honestly a great event,” said Lupita Morales, undecided major. “I think it is important as students that we learn our peer’s cultures as well as our own.”
The Quad was separated into different villages which consisted of culture, global issues, an area about mind, spirit and body along with human and civil rights booths.
There was a booth called the Centennial Village which was dedicated to the history of the campus along with facts about the decades starting from the 1920’s to the present. Students were given the opportunity to gather the information from the booth and take a trivia quiz for a chance to win prizes and candy.
Colorful displays of artwork rested on the floor in front of the library from the chalk-dusted hands of the students who entered the chalk art contest. The art ranged from cultural Azteca dancers, to religious figures as the Virgin Mary and pop culture icons like Walter White from the television series Breaking Bad.
The cultural booths represented were Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Among the most vocal of the booths was the Ethiopian booth by Ray Robinson, an English major and president of the Black Student Union, which was the only booth representing Africa.
Robinson warmly greeted whoever stopped by his booth and provided them with a wealth of information on Ethiopia, famous Ethiopians and the Rastafarian movement made famous by Jamaican and reggae songwriter Bob Marley. He explained that the movement is often regarded as strictly Jamaican but countered that it is credited to gaining its roots in Ethiopia.
“My purpose in making this booth was so people could understand African culture,” Robinson said. “There are not many black people on this campus and I figured, unfortunately no one would represent Ethiopian culture so I decided I’m going to step up and do it because it needs to get out there.”
The World Stage gave opportunities to express the cultures in visuals beyond the booths.
Various dancers performed cultural dances like the Essex Lee swing dance group, who had several students participate in learning swing dancing during their time of sharing.
Each booth had a slew of information available to students; the only thing missing was the students.
Robinson added that there might have been more student participation if the event was celebrated in March when students were more available instead of now while students are focusing more on preparing for finals.