International students showcase their cultures

Students Vladislav Baidin and Anastasia Lurkova pose for a picture during “Celebration of Cultures.” Washburn International Club hosted the event in the Memorial Union April 20, 2022.

On April 20, the Washburn International Club held a “Celebration of Cultures” event in the Memorial Union, where students from 15 different countries showcased their culture.

Coming into the Union, tables were set up with colorful poster boards detailing traditions and history from various countries including Kenya, Japan, Nepal, Russia, Saudi Arabia and many more. International students stood at each table, ready to teach others about their countries and culture.

Laura Santander Díaz, a biotechnology major from Paraguay, was excited to share her culture with others and teach them something new.

“We really wanted to bring our culture to other people here at Washburn. The thing I love most about Washburn is that there is a lot of diversity,” Díaz said. “It’s important to let people know about other cultures, how different we are, but how we all connect at the same time.”

As visitors continued down the line of tables, they were also able to taste traditional dishes from each country. Some foods included dates from Saudi Arabia, beef and chicken empanadas from Paraguay and even gumbo, a popular dish from Lousianna.

Students Anastasia Lurkova, an English linguistics major and Vladislav Baidin, a computer science major, shared blini – thin Russian pancakes – at the event. In Russia, many cook blini in celebration of the holiday Maslenitsa.

“Maslenitsa is a Christan holiday where we cook blini and burn the Lady of Maslenitsa. We also play a lot of games to celebrate the start of spring,” Baidin said.

“I think it’s important to teach others because it is a different culture and no one gets to know this part of Russia. So, I think it’s important to show people we have our own traditions and cultural history that we value,” Lurkova said.

Concluding the celebration, visitors were thrilled to have learned more about the cultures of other students and thought the event was crucial to Washburn.

“This event is really important because we need to represent diversity on our campus,” said Mona Abu-hijleh, a sophomore nursing major from Palestine. “It helps us be more aware of what’s going on around the world and helps us understand cultural differences. It just helps people open up more.”

The “Celebration of Cultures” event encouraged students to learn more about different cultures from around the world. It also gave them an opportunity to experience the cultures of their fellow classmates and ultimately appreciate their differences.

Edited by: Glorianna Noland, Simran Shrestha