Art & Life

Diversity takes center stage

In a vibrant display of unity amidst diversity, Iowa hosted its annual Intercultural Festival on Sept. 10. Lowe Park came alive with the rhythms, flavors and colors of cultures from around the world, as students, faculty members and the community came together to celebrate the rich tapestry that makes the community unique.

The Intercultural Festival, a long-standing tradition at Iowa, is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of multiculturalism, a showcase of global talent and a testament to the commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.

During the festival, Kallany Amaral Mendes, an early childhood education exchange student at Kirkwood Community College, had the opportunity to engage in numerous conversations with fellow students and visitors.

Mendes said, “The intercultural festival was a wonderful opportunity to experience different cultures. I had the chance to eat a variety of traditional food, watch traditional dances, share about my culture and listen to other people’s cultures as well. It was an enriching experience and I had a great time.”

The highlight of the festival was the diverse range of performances that graced the main stage. Students and participants proudly displayed their talents through traditional dances, musical performances and spoken words. Each act was a testament to the unique cultural traditions and artistic expressions that exist within the community.

There was a diverse range of culinary delights available at the festival’s international food fair. For example, tacos, Indian cuisine, Korean chicken wings and many more. The food stalls were not only a feast for the taste buds but also an opportunity for the community to engage in conversations about the cultural significance of the dishes.

In addition to the performances and food, the festival featured informative booths where people could learn about various cultures, traditions and global issues. Interactive displays allowed attendees to get hands-on experience with traditional crafts and art forms, fostering a deeper appreciation for the skills and craftsmanship passed down through generations.

Hospitality student Hillary Maranresy attended the event. She said, “I felt so proudly amazed. It was such a memorable wonderful experience. It is such a great opportunity for everyone who comes from different countries to show their country and culture with enthusiasm here in the U.S.A. People wear their unique traditional costumes and dance their cultural dances, not only adult but also kids… People can gather all together and share their culture. It shows the diversity in the U.S. where people can stay closed with their country and their culture in their heart.”