February 09, 2011

International Festival set for Feb. 14-18

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A celebration with an international flavor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will showcase the diversity of the campus.

The International Festival, set for Feb. 14-18 at the Student Center, is a “passport to an international experience,” according to organizers.

Kicking things off is the International Bazaar/Valentine’s Day Craft Fair on Valentine’s Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Art Gallery (formerly the Hall of Fame) and check out the arts, crafts and assorted handiworks vendors from all over Southern Illinois and beyond are offering for sale. It is the only craft sale at the Student Center offering imported items, according to Craft Shop coordinator Ron Dunkel. The sale is a great opportunity to purchase a special gift for your Valentine or a treat for yourself.

The Market Place will offer international cuisine also Feb. 14-15. You’ll find Middle Eastern foods on Feb. 14 and Irish fare on Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. both days.

Diversity is an integral part of SIUC and the University’s international appeal will be evident during festivities throughout the week, including the Parade of Flags set for about 10 a.m. Feb. 16. Students from about 35 countries will dress in traditional native attire and carry flags from their nations as they assemble at Anthony Hall and lead Chancellor Rita Cheng and other SIUC administrators on a walk to the Student Center for the 10:30 a.m. University welcome and proclamation ceremony in the John W. Corker Lounge.

One of the most popular traditional International Festival events follows. The International Food Fair is set for 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms. Students from 11 countries will share authentic native dishes they prepare. Tickets are just 50 cents each and you can purchase most of the international delicacies for two to four tickets.

You can purchase tickets at the door, or, avoid waiting by getting meal tickets in advance. Buy tickets, while supplies last, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15 at the International Student Council’s information table in the first floor escalator area of the Student Center.

The festival culminates with two very special activities Feb. 18 and everyone is welcome. Student Center Dining Services will host the International Buffet in the Renaissance Room at the Student Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Dine on delicacies from all over the world.

The menu includes:

• Appetizers -- kung pao shrimp egg rolls (China), sausage rolls (Ireland)

• Salads -- seaweed salad (Japan), Egyptian tomato salad (Africa), Arabic salad (Middle East)

• Soups -- egg drop (China), curry lentil (India)

• Entrees -- mint marinated shrimp (Middle East), Jamaican jerk chicken (Jamaica), hoisin marinated baby back ribs (China)

• Side dishes -- tabbouleh with tomatoes and feta (Lebanon), pearl couscous with raisins, almond and honey (Morocco), blistered green beans with black bean garlic sauce (China), duchesse potatoes (France)

• Breads -- soda bread (Ireland), papadums (India)

• Desserts -- yogurt pudding with orange and cinnamon syrup (Ireland), pineapple and banana couscous (Morocco), egg custard pie (France)

The meal includes iced tea, water and coffee. Call 618/453-1130 for menu questions.

Purchase tickets for the International Buffet in advance for less. Advance tickets are $6.75 for children ages 5-10 years, $12 for SIUC students and senior citizens and $13 for the general public. To buy tickets early, visit the Student Center Business Office on the second floor of the Student Center or for no extra fee, call 618-453-3478. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can purchase International Buffet tickets at the door but the cost is $1 more per ticket. Children younger than age 5 eat free.

Wrapping up the festival is the ever-popular International Cultural Show. Set for 7 p.m. in the Ballrooms, it is a showcase of cultures and peoples from all over the world. Students will turn the spotlight on their homelands through song, dance, martial arts, fashion and various other avenues. The show is free and open to the public.

The International Student Council and Student Center Programs and Center Events, with assistance from International Programs and Services, are sponsoring the 2011 International Festival. For more information about International Festival 2011, visit the website at www.siucstudentcenter.org or call 618/453-1142.