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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    World Fair an affair to remember

    Philosophy junior Matt Campbell plays the bagpipes with the UA Scottish Club at yesterdays World Fair on the UA Mall.
    Philosophy junior Matt Campbell plays the bagpipes with the UA Scottish Club at yesterday’s World Fair on the UA Mall.

    Hundreds of students converged on the UA Mall yesterday to take part in the third annual Wildcat World Fair.

    The exhibition is a multicultural fair that raises awareness about ethnic traditions from around the world. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the University Activities Board sponsored the event.

    The fair gave students the opportunity to look into other cultures and traditions they otherwise may not have been able to experience, said Tommy Bruce, ASUA president.

    Cultures from 15 areas were represented, including Russia, Japan, Germany, Italy and the Philippines, as well as the Middle East, Latin America and North Africa.

    “”We’re trying to raise awareness about the customs and culture,”” said Juana Winslow of the Filipino-American Student Association. “”It’s nice to see all of the different (cultures) here sharing a positive tolerance of diversity.””

    The fair’s unique platform lies with its ability to bring so many representatives of different ethnicities together at a single event, said Jen Deng, administrative vice president of ASUA.

    “”This has been brought to the students on campus, so it’s a very interactive way to show diversity,”” she said. “”Lots of clubs showcase their cultures on their own, but this allows us to bring them all together.””

    The exhibition also helped to shed light on cultures that may be misrepresented or misunderstood. The Muslim Student Association booth sought to expel rumors concerning Muslim culture.

    “”With the current things going on the Middle East, it’s important to dismiss stereotypes, since a lot of people associate Muslims with terrorists,”” said Megyn Scott, vice president of the Muslim Student Association. “”We’re here to let them know what Islam is really about.””

    Given that Islam shares some of the same basic roots as Christianity and Judaism, each religion teaches unity and community support, she said.

    The fair was also a way for individuals within clubs to showcase their talents.

    UA Scottish Club members played bagpipes and performed traditional Scottish dances, members of the Street Performance and Incendiary Arts Club danced while twirling fire sticks.

    “”This is quite a bit of fun,”” said Jody Hougland of the Incendiary Arts Club. “”This is an entertaining atmosphere that shows diversity at the same time.””

    Sororities used the opportunity to raise money for their organizations.

    Sigma Lambda Gamma used the exposure to raise money for Latino rights.

    We’re a Latin-based sorority, so we’re just trying to give people insight into that way of life,”” said Andrea Aguilar, a classics senior.

    Kappa Delta Chi sorority brought attention to the United States’ status as a mixture of worldly cultures by highlighting cultural similarities that have entered the American lifestyle.

    “”Most people here sell ethnic food and things like that, so we thought it would be nice to show the diversity that we have right here in our own country,”” said Candice Dagnino, a political science senior and Kappa Delta Chi member.

    With the disagreements occurring among cultures around the world, the importance of learning different cultures should be held as a valuable concept on campus, said Shandy Rivera, director of the Wildcat World Fair, adding that understanding such cultures helps UA students better understand one another.

    “”This is a very diverse campus, so understanding that diversity is key,”” Rivera said. “”It’s great to see people get involved, and I really think they took something away from this experience.””

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