On Wednesday, Oct. 23, SU students, faculty and community members stepped out of the world of Shippensburg and into the international realm, where they became immersed in the lifestyles of 13 countries.
As a portion of SU’s ongoing International Education Week, students from a social work class hosted “Ship World Party: A Taste of the World at SHIP” in Reisner Dining Hall’s Tuscarora Room. For 90 minutes, those in attendance ate, sang, danced and learned, all while creating a sense of community.
People of all ages appreciated the opportunity to engage in a physical worldview — directly within the confines of their American neighborhood.
Farrah Yarwood, an SU student assisting with the event, said the party’s purpose was “to promote diversity, because the community we live in doesn’t have a lot of diversity.”
“This is our way of opening everyone’s eyes to several cultures,” she said.
Throughout the tables of food, each continent was represented in at least one form—from fried plantains, to pierogies, to chicken lo mein. Those in attendance sat at round tables adorned with sky-blue cloths, paper fans with various cultural symbols and a collection of multi-cultural dolls to both eat and discuss the cultures present.
The outskirts of the room featured presentations by 11 of the 13 nations, each with a trifold explaining cultural features such as language, art, books, photographs and information on economies and governments. Most nations also had an interactive activity, such as the Korean table, which allowed for attendees to write their name on a notecard, and have a representative transcribe it in the Korean language.
The 11 nations represented with tri-folds were: Columbia, Trinidad, Tobago, Korea, Estonia, Haiti, Japan, France, Thailand, Bosnia and South Africa.
All entertainment took place directly in front of a stage, decorated with the flags of the various nations being represented, as well as many that were not.
Also involved in the party were representatives of Cumberland Perry Respite, a group dedicated to “the development of quality respite care programs for families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cumberland and Perry Counties,” according to the organization’s website.
SU student Cora Agar worked the table for the respite, which held various baskets for a silent auction, containing gifts and prizes for victorious attendees. Cora said that all proceeds would benefit the respite.
“We’re here to raise awareness of this cause. It’s not a well-known or well-followed cause, and it fits in well with the overall awareness theme of the day,” she said.
Another group hoping to raise awareness for their cause was Reach Out, an “honors service-learning project that provides curricular materials and support for the Pathways of Learning School in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic,” according to Reach Out’s website. SU student Ashley Stuck said the group was hoping to promote and support SU’s efforts in diversity.
“We’ve all had a lot of fun visiting the tables and learning about so many different cultures,” she said.