Breaking Barriers, Creating Community

The global heartbeat was strong on Concordia’s campus as students from nearly 50 countries came together for the 2012 International Student Organization Festival.

The evening’s goal was to break down barriers and create community, says one of the event’s organizers Ingvild Gundersen ’12, Norway.

A multitude of flags lined the Knutson Campus Center Atrium for the festival on Feb. 11. The annual event brings together global flair from Concordia, Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University.

The booths featured topics ranging from famous Germans to geography lessons to origami. More than 100 students, faculty and community members dined on dishes from around the world, such as Indian curry, Russian kabobs and Mexican enchiladas.

The talents of the internationals were featured in post-dinner program. Hmong women demonstrated a dance dressed in traditional, colorful clothing. A Japanese student played two piano pieces from her country. Others also danced, sang or performed comedy.

“It was great to see them [the performers] on stage performing and representing their cultures,” says Gundersen.

Concordia’s ISO president Xuting Jiang ’12, China, says she gained new cultural knowledge from her friends.

“Learning about different cultures is so important in today’s world because we are so much more connected in many different ways,” she says.