Bemidji State’s 44th Festival of Nations set for April 6

Bemidji State University’s 44th Festival of Nations, an annual celebration of the cultural diversity found in the campus community, is set for April 6.

The festival will be held from 3-7 p.m. in Memorial Hall 100 in the University’s upper Hobson Memorial Union.

Tickets for the Festival of Nations are $5 for the public; BSU students with a valid ID and children under 12 are admitted for $3. Additional food tickets will cost $2.

The Festival of Nations was established at Bemidji State University in 1969 as the Feast of Nations and in 2005 was expanded into the Festival of Nations. It has been designed to bring peoples of all backgrounds together to take pride in the richness of diverse cultures in the Bemidji community with a commitment to provide a superior educational and multicultural experience.

This year’s festival, “Culture Shock,” will feature Bemidji State students from more than 90 countries around the world sharing the global food, crafts and traditions that form the mosaic of the American culture.

Passports will be given to kids 12 and under. These passports can be stamped by visiting the booths of different countries. The first 50 passports to receive all their stamps will receive special prizes, with the remainder receiving a prize for participating.

The festival provides an opportunity for the Bemidji community to sample food from Jamaica, Nepal, India, China, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Germany, and a number of other countries; arts; crafts and entertainment from across the world and meet the diversity of international students who call Bemidji home while pursuing their educations.

Recipes and history of the dishes will be provided in the form of recipe cards so that visitors to the booths may take the recipe home if they are interested. There will also be a food performance from the stage as emcees and others tell about the countries food background, what the food is made for and more. Beverages of soda, water and coffee will be provided.

Exhibition and activity booths at the festival include origami, Chinese calligraphy, henna tattooing, introduction to foreign languages, information on embassies, interactive games, features on world travel and an art and exhibition room.

The festival also will include belly dancing, Jamaican dancehall (dance), a karate demonstration, performances from the ballroom and swing dance club, and Native American performances. Some of the dance performances may be interactive and persons in attendance are often asked to participate to enhance the opportunity to experience different cultures.

Festival t-shirts and cultural merchandise will be on sale during the event and a variety of raffles and giveaways will also be available.

The event is presented by Bemidji State University and the International Student Organization.