By Connor Bell

The Maryland South Hill Council hosted its annual Global Fest event April 5.

The event took place in Annapolis hall in the South Hill Community in a small auditorium with a lot of food and drinks for those in attendance.

Global Fests’ main goal was to show students the possibilities of studying abroad through Maryland and allow students to recognize the different cultures on campus, according to South Hill Community Director Will Dalton.

“Students come for the music and food, but also learn about the ways they can travel and actually experience the culture for themselves” Dalton said.

Each table in the small auditorium had its own type of food with a description of the history of the food right next to it. Students and other guests dined on plantains, Jamaican beef patties and mango sticky rice. Resident Director Coty Behanna said all food brought to the event was ordered from local eateries in Prince George’s County.

Dalton said resident directors in the South Hill Community were in charge of setting the event date, but the Resident Assistants were in charge of everything else, from serving the food, to getting the room set up and reaching out to dance groups to perform.

The performers of the night were two student dance groups: Celtic Grace Dance Troop, featured an Irish style of dance, while the other group, African Sisters, displayed an African style of dance.

When students were done watching both dance performances, guests could walk out of the auditorium and learn about the study abroad trips available for the upcoming semesters. Not only were study abroad opportunities present, but students could also learn more about the United States Peace Corps.

Senior Resident Assistant Kaushik Nagarur expressed what this event means for students: “The one thing we stress as RAs is inclusion. . Getting other people exposed to cultures they really aren’t used to is all part of college.”

“It’s cool there is something organized to promote multiculturalism” said South Hill Council Resident Jacob Mitchener. “I’m an engineering major, and you kind of get funneled into engineering classes, so it’s good to get opened up to other things going on in the world.”

Aside from watching, eating and learning about different cultures, students could try their best at creating dream catchers. The South Hill Community provided arts and crafts supplies for people to make these catchers and also allowed them to read the origin of the dreamcatcher and its significance in American Indian culture.

Perhaps the most important aspect of making these crafts was the fact that the community made it a priority to include the definition of cultural appropriation next to the history of the dreamcatchers. Despite the definition being from Wikipedia, it reminded all people present at the event to not use a different cultures objects in a negative or offensive way whether it was at the crafts table or the food people were eating.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of PROstu_spivack’s Flickr account.

Connor Bell is a junior journalism major and can be reached at cbell56@terpmail.umd.edu.

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