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International Student Association brings diverse celebrations to ULM campus

International+students+from+Kenya+serve+cusine+from+their+country+during+International+Week.+Photo+by+Siddharth+Gaulee.
International students from Kenya serve cusine from their country during International Week. Photo by Siddharth Gaulee.

International students from Kenya serve cusine from their country during International Week. Photo by Siddharth Gaulee.

International students from Kenya serve cusine from their country during International Week. Photo by Siddharth Gaulee.

Summer Ho, [email protected]

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Even though students struggle with paying for textbooks, tuition and rent, they still experience wanderlust. This word describes strong feelings to travel and explore. But planning a trip entails the expensive costs of transportation, accommodations, food, activities and shopping.

So, even if everyone can’t afford to backpack through Europe or party in Mexico for Spring Break, the International Student Association brought different countries to ULM through Wanderlust 1.0 and 2.0.

Most university “events are to hype students up and to get them through the week,” said Luke Arsement, a junior psychology and French major. “This event reminds us that America is not the only country, [and that] there are others on campus.”

Students visited and experienced diverse cultures through face painting, hair braiding, origami folding, henna and Zumba.

Many African countries use face painting for hunting, religious or military purposes. Additionally, Native American tribes also express artistic themes through the dynamic and vibrant colors.

Meanwhile, hair braiding shows the winding history that spans across different countries, cultures and centuries. They symbolized social standing, ethnicity, marital status or religious affiliation. Nowadays, women braid their hair for mere style and convenience.

Lena Beutner, the Accounts Payable Manager at Coenen Hall, also demonstrated the Japanese art of folding origami by instructing students on how to create butterflies from paper. People marvel at this craft that requires no materials or supplies other than a square sheet of paper.

Henna designs adorn celebrant’s hands and feet during special occasions such as holidays, birthdays or weddings in countries like Nepal, India and Pakistan. To create this staining dye, people dry henna leaves, crush it into a fine powder and form a paste using bonding agents.

Trainers and employees from Infinity Fitness also dropped by to teach Zumba with a salsa flair. This aerobic exercise features movements from Latin America and couples with American music for a thrilling program.

Senior political science major Kristen Clingenpeel said the purpose of this event focused on “spreading cultural awareness, educating others about respecting different heritages and coming together as a student body.”

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International Student Association brings diverse celebrations to ULM campus