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20 countries represented at 61st Annual World Unity Fair

Students traveled the world in one night at the annual World Unity Fair.

Thao Nong and Anh Nguyen, both senior economics students, sell handmade cards at the Vietnam booth. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)
Thao Nong and Anh Nguyen, both senior economics students, sell handmade cards at the Vietnam booth. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)

Sponsored by ASCSU and International Student Scholar Services, and represented by the Council of International Student Affairs, the 61st Annual World Unity fair was held in the Lory Student Center ballroom Saturday evening. The fair featured an international bazaar, 26 culture booths, a talent show, entertainment and food. It was open to all, and had a large turnout.

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With 20 cultures represented, there was a chance to get a “passport” and receive stamps for every country’s booth that attendees visited. The countries represented ranged from Oman to England, to Turkey and Mongolia and beyond, with many students and alumni from their respective countries at each booth.

The 20 countries each had their own booths, outfitted with colorful, ornate displays of culture, including traditional garments, art, various trinkets and cultural snacks. There were activities for all, ranging from henna and temporary tattoos, costumes to dress up in, games, and even a chance to have a name written in Arabic.

“I came to see my friends; they are part of the Omani booth, and it had henna,” said Alya Almheiri, an equine science major, who showed off her detailed henna tattoo. “This is my third year coming to this event.”

Each attendee had his or her favorite moment from the evening.

“I liked trying on the Korean dresses, and watching people dance in the Chinese dance, as well as the Capoeira,” said Irina Aimukanova, a journalism major who is a part of the CSU INTO program. Capoeira is a Brazilian form of martial arts that combines dance, music and acrobatics.

Each booth was eager to elaborate on what makes their country unique, and why they were representing their country.

Students from Oman sing traditional songs in a circle. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)
Students from Oman sing traditional songs in a circle. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)

“It’s good to represent Britain, because I feel that, internationally, we tend to overlook it,” said Jonny Lee, who is from University of Exeter in Northwest Wales, but is studying zoology at Colorado State. Lee was situated at the England booth, and added, “God save the Queen.”

Included in the festivities was the international bazaar and silent auction that showcased an extensive array of artisan art and paintings, crafts, clothing and treasures.

“Everything is donated from people all over the community,” said Nancy Murray, a volunteer for the Fort Collins International Center. “These items have been collected over the years.”

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All of the proceeds from the silent auction and bazaar go to the FCIC, whose mission is to “enhance international understanding, cultural exchange and friendship,” Murray said.

From 7 to 9 p.m., the event featured an international talent show that was held in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

The talent show had lively performances from 13 different groups. The entertainment included dancing, singing, poems and music. It also featured performances from the students of the India Students Association, who had performed at India Nite Oct. 19.

With this year’s fair being the 61st, it is well established and a favorite tradition for all who partake – usually international students. There are 1,300 international students who call Colorado State University home.

Collegian Reporter Clarissa Davies can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DaviesClarissa

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