The Collegian
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UR students explore world cultures at international fair

<p>Students representing their country at the International Club's fair on Nov. 12 pose with flags. Photo courtesy of &nbsp;sophomore Anush Margaryan.&nbsp;</p>

Students representing their country at the International Club's fair on Nov. 12 pose with flags. Photo courtesy of  sophomore Anush Margaryan. 

University of Richmond students from various countries gathered in Tyler Haynes Commons on Nov. 12 with booths representative of their cultural food, dress and dances. They were there for the International Club’s fair highlighting the culture of 25 countries. 

It was the International Club’s first event of the year.

“I think as an international student it's important for us to share our culture,” said sophomore Anush Margaryan, co-president of the club.

The International Club had been inactive for some time, which worried Margaryan about the turnout of the event, but she was elated when she saw just how many people showed up, she said.

The 25 booths in the Commons had student representatives speaking for each country, sharing information about the food and culture. Students from all backgrounds moved from booth to booth trying new food and learning about new cultures.

Sophomore Maria Zambrano Davila, a member of the International Club, came to represent Venezuela. Their table had traditional food and snacks like arepas and tequeños. They were happy with the event they said.

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One of the 25 tables at the International Club's fair showcasing food and snacks from Venezuela.

“Last year we didn’t even have an International Club, it just started with the class of 2025,” Zambrano Davila said. “So [international students] just didn’t have big events and community up until now. This is the first [event] that we have as international students, and I really like it.” 

Zambrano Davila described the International Club as a way to create community and cultural awareness. Many students came donning traditional attire, t-shirts representing their country or flags wrapped around their shoulders.

The event ended with cultural dances. While some of the performances were planned, many were impromptu performances.

Ritmo Latino was the first performance of the night. They danced to a mashup of many songs, causing the crowd to cheer and clap almost the entire time.

First-year Isabella Sabogal, who danced for Ritmo Latino, loved the event and hoped for more like them in the future, she said.

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“I would definitely attend more international fairs,” Sabogal said. “I love them a lot, and I feel like we need more performances and more celebration of cultures because that's what life is, celebrating different cultures. And I feel like that's what we need right now on campus,”

The night ended with impromptu performances by students from Armenia, India, Bosnia, Haiti and Nepal. Students representing Armenia, Bosnia and India asked anyone to join in and dance with them, and many students jumped in to learn the dances of these countries.

Margaryan led the dance for Armenia, and she said she was so proud and honored to be able to share her culture with the community at UR.

Contact international writer Luke Orris at luke.orris@richmond.edu and news writer Andrea Padilla at andrea.padilla@richmond.edu.

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