International Festival displays Whitworth’s diverse community with electric energy

By Hannah Foster | Staff Writer 

Students representing Nepal dance at the International Festival on Nov. 19 | Photo by Hannah Foster.

Students from over 30 different countries are represented at Whitworth University. Every year, Whitworth celebrates these students through a spirited and informative Cultural Awareness Week. After being adapted to online forums last year, the event returned with in-person activities for students to celebrate and share their unique cultures throughout the week of Nov. 15-19. 

The week of activities concluded with the International Festival, during which students represented their cultures through fashion, song and dance. At the beginning of the festival, students made a land acknowledgement to honor the history of the Native American tribes of Spokane

Afterward, a processional of students filed into the Robinson Teaching Theatre carrying flags from their home countries. Then, the festival transitioned into a talent show comprising everything from solos to large group dances.  

“Events like this are important to raise cultural awareness on campus and give [an] opportunity for international students to show their culture,” said Anastasya Lie, first-year born and raised in Indonesia. “We can also get to know more cultures and provide a more inclusive community.” 

Emma John, a sophomore from Malaysia sang in the talent show. “It was special for me to represent my home and celebrate my culture, but it was also such an amazing experience to be able to see all my beautiful friends representing theirs,” she said. “I have never been so proud of who I am, and it is great to know that you are not alone.” 

The festival celebrated students of different cultural identities, as well as showcased the passionate and diverse community at Whitworth. 

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