Culture Fest highlights campus diversity

The crowd at Culture Fest 2015 enjoys free food, performances and learning about other cultures.

UNA’s Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity (O.D.I.E.) brought an opportunity for students to experience difference cultures at its third annual Culture Fest Aug. 24 from 5-7 p.m.

UNA student Summit Kapoor emceed the event, and local disc jockey Hunter Jackson performed for the third year in a row.

Performances included the Consciousness of Realizing Enlightenment drumming group, African stilt dancers, Native American Hoop Dancer Lyndon Alec and the UNA cheerleaders.

The turnout was great, and students seemed to enjoy themselves, said LaKetta Williams, the O.D.I.E. administrative assistant who helped plan the event.

“It’s been great to see so many students come out to learn about other cultures,” she said. “They get to learn about cultures they don’t interact with everyday, and it’s important for the students to do that.”

Local restaurants, including Jimmy John’s, Blue Coast Burrito and Umi Japanese Steakhouse, served food alongside several campus registered student organizations.

The food was freshman Kinshasa Williams’ favorite part of the event, she said.

“Since I’m a culinary arts major, I’m always trying different food,” Kinshasa Williams said. “It’s nice to see so many food options and learn where they came from. I actually tried Indian food, and that was a new experience that I really enjoyed.”

Japanese University Meal Project had a booth at Culture Fest, and the organization’s secretary, Kevin Hean, said he enjoyed being able to share information about his group with visitors.

“Everybody needs to be introduced to more culture,” he said. “The more culture you’re exposed to, the better person you’ll be. You learn to work with different perspectives and it makes you more well-rounded.”

O.D.I.E. also selected students who shared photos of Culture Fest on Instagram using #PartofUNA to win door prizes.