Cultural Celebration – Where Worlds Unite

2017-18 Intercultural group of students with Director, Diana Jones

(Pictured: Global and Cultural organizations representatives join Diana Jones in organizing the Annual Cultural Celebration. Front Left to Right: Marianna Santos Bermeo – Latino Club Vice President, Amina Amirkhanli – International Club President. Back Left to Right: Galu Peapealalo – Polynesian Club Past President, Brayam Suarez Garcia – Latino Club President, Arlington Nunez – Latino Club Business Manager, Diana Jones – Intercultural Office Director, Pulama Louis and Michael Lugo – Co-Presidents of Polynesian Club.)

Pierogis.  Arepas.  Mandazis.  Alfajores.  Baklava.  Chicken Chhoyela.  Soan Papdi.

 

Take a bite out of the world at the 12th Annual Cultural Celebration Saturday, April 14, from 4–7 p.m. in the Shaw Center Lobby. Savor the wonderful cuisines of the Graceland University and Lamoni multicultural community. Enjoy the global atmosphere and representatives from around the world. Appreciate the diversity that is American – past and present. There is even a kid-friendly adventure that will offer passports for children and youth to obtain stickers at the various booths, showing off their travels around the world. Open to the community, the afternoon’s activities are sponsored by Graceland’s Intercultural Office; Black Student Union (BSU); Latino, International and Polynesian Clubs; and the Campus Organization for Student Activities (COSA). 

 

Australia.  Canada.  United Kingdom.  Ireland.  Japan.   Nepal.  India.  Afghanistan.

 

“This is a special day for us because we can share our cultures and help the community to see the diverse values and customs students bring. It makes those sharing feel valued and important,” said Amina Amirkhanli, current International Club President and senior from Azerbaijan. 

 

Brayam Suarez, the Latino Club President from Colombia said, “This is my third year, and I’m bringing arepas!” 

 

Les Gardner, a former International Student Advisor at Graceland, stated, “Lamoni is blessed to have the opportunity to get acquainted with students from all over the world who come to Lamoni to continue their education. I know, as I was one of them who came from Australia way back in 1950.”

 

Musubis.  Alfajores Cookies.  Sushi.  Vegemite.  Fairy Bread.  Mandazi.  Plantain Dish.  Ajvar.

 

“This is an opportunity to cross our own cultural bridge to new experiences,” Diana Jones, Director of the Intercultural Office, said. “The students and organizations love doing this event, as it creates a true sense of coming together as one community – and belonging.” 

 

The Intercultural Office serves Graceland's international students and works with the leaders and sponsors of the Black Student Union, International Club, Latino Club and Polynesian Club at Graceland University. Jones works to advise and assist students as they transition into the Graceland, Lamoni and U.S. Midwest culture, and helps with immigration compliance. With these clubs, she supports and provides training for the leaders and sponsors.

 

Spain.  Italy.  Colombia.  Ecuador.  Honduras.  Puerto Rico.  Mexico.  Paraguay.  Peru. 

 

This Celebration is called a cultural event because it includes the cultures of the U.S. and its territories as well as around the world. It is also a time to remember one’s own diverse heritage. “My great-great grandmother emigrated from England to Australia, then spent her final years in Lamoni,” Jones said. “Our ancestors gave us the gift of their strength and make up part of who we are today as individuals, families and citizens.”

 

Spam Musubis.  Pani Popo.  Baleades.  Arroz Con Gandules.  Tembleque.  Arroz Dulce.

 

The event originally started as “The Lamoni Intercultural Heritage Celebration” in 2006 and was organized by the Intercultural Community of Lamoni Committee. The celebration was held for a few years in The Alley in downtown Lamoni then moved to the high school commons and later to the high school gymnasium. In 2015, the committee decided to hand over organizing the event to the Graceland University Intercultural Office, since which time it has been held in the Shaw Lobby. “The goal has continued to be one where members of the Lamoni Community and Graceland can come together to honor our rich diversity,” Jones said.

 

Nigeria.  Kenya.  Ghana.  Zambia.  Kosovo.  Bosnia.  Bulgaria.  Latvia

 

Local organizations such as the Mite Society, Liberty Hall, the Optimist Club and Hy-Vee will also join in the festivities. “Don't miss the chance to learn about such a diverse cultural heritage present right here in your community,” Sophie Ryan, Intercultural Community volunteer said. “A trip around the world and down history for just the cost of gas to the Shaw Center; you can't beat that.”

 

Guacamole and Chips.  Terere Tea.  Poutine.  Butter Stew with Chicken.  Cadbury Chocolate.

 

Originally written for the Lamoni Chronicle by Gary Rees