FAU hosts 25th annual Festival of Nations

Students were able to learn about different cultural traditions and even eat food from different countries around the world.


Inside the Festival of Nations’ tent that was lined with flags from different countries, students attempted to recreate the famous Mona Lisa painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Photo courtesy of FAU Graduate College’s Twitter

Arturo Arias, Contributing Writer

FAU has always celebrated its racial diversity, and this was especially evident during the 25th Festival of Nations held last Thursday.

The Festival of Nations is an annual student-driven event that celebrates cultures from around the world, and it’s sponsored by groups like FAU’s Center for Global Engagement (CGE) and Student Government’s Multicultural Programming. Its goal is to expose students to different groups of people through educational activities like dancing, arts and crafts, and food tasting.

CGE’s Executive Director Mihaela Metianu said that the event “show[s] the community how diverse [FAU] is.” And it’s true — out of Florida’s 12 public universities, FAU holds the No. 1 spot for racial diversity.

Nepal’s booth featured Buddhist statues and Dhaki topi hats, among other important cultural items. Photo courtesy of FAU Graduate College’s Twitter

From Mexico to Malaysia, plenty of cultures were represented during this year’s festival. As students walked around the grassy area of the Housing Lawn, they were surrounded by a melting pot of different activities from different cultures. These activities allowed them to:

  • Create Native American dream catchers, which are spiritual charms designed to catch bad dreams and evaporate evil spirits
  • Taste the traditional dish of Hyderabadi Biryani from India, which is made of rice, meat, and spices
  • Participate in an art contest with the Italian-American Heritage Society of Boca Raton
  • Learn about the art of rice writing from ancient Anatolia, where words are written on a single grain of rice and made into necklaces or pendants
  • See how their name is written in Arabic
  • Try tea, coffee, and snacks from Saudi Arabia
  • Participate in and learn about the Japanese tea ceremony, an ancient tradition that choreographs the way to serve matcha tea
  • Have their names written in Katakana or Hiragana, which are Japanese writing systems
  • Learn about and receive a bangle, a traditional bracelet worn by women from Pakistan during special occasions like holidays and weddings
  • Enjoy different multicultural performances like Latin salsa dancing and Hawaiian hula dancing
One of the dances performed at this year’s Festival of Nations was the Hawaiian hula. Photo courtesy of FAU Graduate College’s Twitter

Metianu said that she’d like the Festival of Nations to “have as many student representatives as possible” in the future.

Arturo Arias is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].