Students swarming into the Sorenson Student Center warmed the fall chill off of their hands by the two fires outside the doors before making their way into the transformed ballroom.
Volunteers from the International Center worked tirelessly all day Monday to turn the foyer of the Grande Ballroom into a jungle. From floor to ceiling plants and green vine-like streamers helped guests feel like they were walking into a different world.
The pumping bass of Venezuelan music and the ring of tambourines only foreshadowed the intense transition visitors experienced as they made their way through the jungle past the Brazilian food and into the expansive ballroom itself.
Booths lined the outer edges of the room representing countries all over world, from Brazil to Russia. A culturally diverse group of people milled along these booths, mingling, laughing and examining the different cultures represented.
Over 150 people sat in the rows of chairs set up in the middle of the ballroom, and hundreds more surrounded those sitting, standing on the sides of the room and in the back. The crowd cheered and whistled for the dancing and singing groups on the stage, and several audience members stood on tiptoes to see past the sea of onlookers.
Sophomore Communications major Jen Clark came with two of her friends after hearing the announcement for the festival in an Institute class. After being invited with several other audience members to dance on stage with a Brazilian drum and dance group called Samba, Clark talked about how fun it was to be surrounded by so many different cultures.
“It’s like travelling the world without a plane ticket,” Clark said.
The International Student Services will be holding many more events for their International Education Week. For a “taste” of this international conglomeration, be sure to attend the food extravaganza Thursday, Nov. 10, at Centre Stage.
For more pictures and the full story on the International Festival, be sure to pick up a copy of next week’s UVU Review on Monday, Nov. 14.
By Jeff Jacobsen – Online Content Manager
Photo by Gilbert Cisneros