February 08, 2008

Annual International Festival opens Monday

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- You won't need a suitcase or a passport to visit nations around the world. That's because a taste of cultures far and near is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale during the International Festival, which begins Monday, Feb. 11, and continues through Friday, Feb. 15.

The Student Center is the site for all events and this year's fest is bigger and better than ever, organizers say. There's the International Bazaar and Valentine Craft Show, international cuisine, a reception with an awards presentation, an international buffet, a free film showing, and the ever-popular Food Fair with cuisine from around the world for sampling at a nominal cost.

During the International Cultural Show, students from diverse locales will depict their cultures through dancing, fashion, martial arts and in a variety of other ways. "Tales from the Beijing Opera" is a can't-miss performance packed with singing, stage fighting, dancing, acrobatics and more as comic and dramatic scenes from some of China's most popular operas come to life in Chinese and English.

The full schedule of events for the SIUC 2008 International Festival includes:

Monday, Feb. 11

• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.– Greek cuisine at Old Main Restaurant.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.– Russian Cuisine at Old Main Restaurant

• 6 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies in the East International Lounge including the International Programs and Services Reception. The event includes dedication of the Global Gallery, comprised of works of art by SIUC international students. The evening also includes announcement of the first Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest winners.

• 7 p.m. – Proclamation for Global Gallery dedication in Ballroom D.

• 7:30 p.m. – "Tales from the Beijing Opera," a colorful evening of entertainment for all ages with song, dance, music, mime, stage fighting and acrobatics. The free program features, in English and Chinese, depictions of comic and dramatic scenes from various beloved Chinese operas.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m. – International Bazaar and Craft Shop Valentine Craft Show at Hall of Fame, offering the perfect opportunity to select special handmade gifts for the special people in your life. The show features exceptional woodcrafts, rugs, quilts, gift baskets, candles, woven bags, jewelry and other handicrafts galore. You can also make your own personalized Valentine card or duct tape rose.

• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Food Fair in the Ballrooms. This year there will be students from 15 countries creating original recipes for tasting adventure. Tickets are just 50 cents each and most items cost two to four tickets each. You can get tickets at the door, but to avoid the long lines, purchase tickets in advance at the International Student Council's information tables near the first-floor north escalator of the Student Center today, Monday or Tuesday, Feb. 11-12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Irish cuisine at Old Main Restaurant.

• 7 p.m. – Free film, The College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, along with the festival, presents "Rang De Basanti" in the Student Center Auditorium. Jyotsna Kapur, associate professor in cinema and photography at SIUC, will speak, introducing the acclaimed 2006 movie from India.

Thursday, Feb. 14

• 10 a.m.-5 p.m. –International Bazaar and Craft Shop Valentine Craft Show continues in the Hall of Fame.

Friday, Feb. 15

• 5-7 p.m. – International Buffet in the Renaissance Room. Hosted by Student Center Dining Services, the multi-course feast encompasses tastes from all over the world. Buffet tickets are $11.25 in advance or $12.50 at the door for the general public. Admission for SIUC students, senior citizens and children ages five and older are $10.25 in advance or $11.50 at the door. To get advance tickets, visit the central ticket office on the second floor of the Student Center, 453-3478. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• 7 -9 p.m.– International Cultural Show in the Ballrooms with international students showcasing their cultures with song, dance, martial arts, fashion and in other ways. Free.

The International Student Council and Student Center Special Programs and Center Events coordinate the festival and sponsors also include International Programs and Services and Undergraduate Student Government. The Office of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Fine Arts Committee contribute financial assistance.

For more information about the 2008 International Festival, visit www.siucstudentcenter.org or call 618/453-3489.