Tuesday, March 28, 2006
OU celebrates cultural diversity at International Night By Lisa Hook, OU Writer
Oakland University is a melting pot of students from all nations – from the Orient to the Middle East. On Friday, April 7, from 7 to 11 p.m. the Oakland Center Pioneer Food Court will be transformed into a smorgasbord of tantalizing ethnic foods, live entertainment and togetherness – all in the spirit of cultural enrichment.
International Night was created in the ’80s to honor OU’s rich and diverse ethnic community. Organized by the International Students and Scholars Office and Center for Student Activities, this event is made possible with support from the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and OU’s many student organizations, including the Chaldean American Student Association, Culture Club, Indian Students Association, Polish Club and others.
In keeping with the time-tested theme, “We Are the World,” this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever.
“Attendance is usually anywhere from 400-600 people,” said Assistant Director of International Students and Scholars Petra Knoche. “The participation is always good and Oakland’s students, international students, faculty and staff look forward to this event.”
It will be an evening brimming with cultural enrichment, featuring international cuisine, live entertainment and community spirit. Participants will see authentic costumes and dances and have the opportunity to experience a taste of what it’s like to live in another land.
When the event originated, international students created their cuisine in the kitchen at the OC. It is now too popular for students to put on themselves, so Chartwells lends a helping hand, seeing to it that each dish tastes authentic. The venue provides a chance to try foods that you might not otherwise sample.
“This event helps to promote the international world to Oakland students, faculty and staff and the OU community,” Knoche said. “The International Night fosters positive relationships between groups of people from different cultures and all areas of the world.”
OU has about 300 students and scholars in more than 50 countries spanning the globe, according to Knoche. Students the world over will have the opportunity to share their traditions with fellow classmates, teachers and other participants.
“The International students are very proud of their culture and heritage and they love to share it with others,” Knoche said. “We want people to share their experiences and talk about common bonds and about what brought them to Oakland University.”
This event is free of charge and open to all. For more information, call (248) 370-2400.