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Cultures unite at World Unity Fair

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the souls of its people.”

At CSU’s annual World Unity Fair, put on by the Office of International Programs, students and community members have the chance to witness exactly that.

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The World Unity Fair offers interactive presentations for people of every age to learn from. Audience members have the opportunity to experience customs, cuisines and much more from cultures all across the globe.

“CSU and the cultural student orgs here have a very unique role to play in bringing the world to this small town in Northern Colorado,” said Aimee Nord, Program Coordinator for the Office of International Programs. “I’ve learned since coming here, this is the biggest event of its kind north of Denver and it’s amazing. You hear that 2,000 to 3,000 people come every year to see this, and it’s so neat to see what these international students can offer.”

There will be approximately 23 different international student groups representing cultures around the world.

“The richness of their heritage is all coming together in a kaleidoscope,” Nord said.

The World Unity Fair will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and public interest only continues to grow.

“Such an event provides a great opportunity for the community to get to know more about the international community, whose population and diversity has been growing super rapidly in the past few years,” said Anix Zhang, student coordinator for the Office of International Programs.

Zhang started working for the Office of International Programs about a year ago and has witnessed firsthand the joy it brings these students to share their cultures.

“Now having many, many friends from different countries, the thing I enjoy most is talking to them about their cultures,” Zhang said. “The World Unity Fair gives them the chance to represent their cultures, and it will be hard not to notice their big, pretty smiles when they are showing their cultures to the others.”

The primary goal of this event is to educate and promote tolerance.

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Ahmed Alshareef is a CSU sophomore chemical and biological engineering major. Alshareef came to the US from Saudi Arabia to study when he was 18-years-old.

“It wasn’t easy at all,” Alshareef admits. “But people here are incredibly nice and open and willing to know other peoples’ culture and point of view.”

Alshareef not only wants to share his culture, but learn about others.

“I chose to study in the US, not because education in Saudi Arabia isn’t good, I came to get a better understanding on culture and people, and take some good ideas back to my country to make a change in the Saudi community,” Alshareef said.

While general education is important, something special can be said about learning from the experiences of your peers.

“Studying here is more about the incredible experience and life lesson than just getting a college degree,” Alshareef said.

Discover new cultures for yourself at the World Unity Fair. The event takes place this Saturday, Nov. 11 from 3p.m. to 9p.m. at the UCA and is free and open to the public.  More information can be found at www.isss.colostate.edu.

Collegian Senior Reporter Peyton Garcia can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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