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Cultural ‘Mela’ at Emory

May 2006
Cultural ‘Mela’ at Emory

The tastes of Asia, the artwork of Africa and the traditions of Europe laid the agenda for Emory University's 30th "International Cultural Festival." Due to inclement weather conditions, the cultural ‘mela' was moved to the Woodruff gymnasium on April 8, 2006. Sitara, a dance group, opened the performance segment of the festival with a medley of catchy Bollywood hits. The center stage featured performances from various cultural groups including a fashion show, a traditional Chinese ribbon dance, a Turkish folk and belly dance and a vocal music piece from Scandanivia.

While this diversity of performances, all under one roof, was well appreciated by the audience, the cultural booths also offered a glimpse of each country. The Indian stall had representatives dressed up in saris playing Indian film dances. The stall was colorfully displayed with Indian artifacts and posters of popular actresses including Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta.

The booth from the Philippines was exemplary for its thoughtful display. Not only did it present products indigenous to the country, but also demonstrated the contributions of the Filipino language to English.

Some of the booths offered trivia contests, henna painting (‘mehendi') and traditional games from their respective countries. The gracious organizers of each stall were dressed in their ethnic attire and offered food samples from their cuisine.

There were several hands-on activities organized throughout the day including face painting, Afghan kite making, Japanese drum workshop, Tango and Swing dance lesson, and a sumo wrestling contest. The festival provided a forum of multiculturalism for one and all!

- Archith Seshadri

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