Highlighting Culture through Food, Song, and Trivia
Today marks the start of Culture Fest, a weeklong series of activities designed to facilitate communication among Tech’s diverse students. The annual festival is hosted by Georgia Tech International Ambassadors (GTIA) and the Office of International Education (OIE). Events include a food festival, karaoke, coffee and tea tastings, trivia night, and a new event created by GTIA called Human Libraries.
Jacob Bruhn, a third-year computer engineering major, serves as vice president of external affairs for GTIA and is one of the lead coordinators of Culture Fest.
“One of GTIA’s missions is to connect students of different backgrounds, and Culture Fest is a fun way to do that,” said Bruhn.
GTIA and OIE will collaborate with an assortment of other student organizations including the African Student Association, Chinese Student Association, India Club, Society of Hispanic and Professional Engineers, and Korean Undergraduate Student Association.
The festival kicks off with Food Fest, held on the Tech Walkway from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, April 2. Here, several cultural organizations will serve home-cooked food prepared from original recipes.
“Food is, to me, one of the best ways to learn about someone else’s culture and is an excellent way to facilitate conversation,” said Bruhn. “There is a story behind why a recipe is important.”
The festivities continue with a fun-filled karaoke night. Coffee and tea tasting will take place on April 4, when students can sip on a Turkish coffee or sample tea from India. On April 5, Trivia Night will test students’ cultural competency. See below for a full list of events, locations, and participating organizations.
A new event at this year’s Culture Fest is Human Libraries, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 10 at Campanile Amphitheater. Advocates will share stories of identity, struggle, and perseverance, and talk about what people can do to actively support inclusivity at Tech.
“We wanted to capture human stories, as if in a book, but have them spoken aloud to draw a connection between the spoken and written word,” said Bruhn.
Speakers will include Stephanie Ray, associate dean of students and director of Student Diversity Programs at Georgia Tech.
Bruhn hopes that the festival will be a way to connect people of different backgrounds and help students learn about other countries and cultures.
“Culture Fest allows all students, wherever they’re from, to learn about different parts of the world that they may be unfamiliar with,” said Bruhn.
In addition to hosting this year’s Culture Fest, GTIA works to recruit international students and to provide resources that allow international and domestic students to connect. To find out more, visit their website. More information on Culture Fest can be found here.
Culture Fest Events
Monday, April 2 – Food Fest, noon to 2 p.m. at Tech Walkway
Tuesday, April 3 – Karaoke Night, 6 to 8 p.m. on at Under the Couch
Wednesday, April 4 - Coffee and Tea Tasting, 5 to 7 p.m. at Skiles Courtyard
Thursday, April 5 – Trivia Night, 6 to 8 p.m. at Howey L3
Tuesday, April 10 – Human Libraries, 5 to 7 p.m. at Campanile Amphitheater