One of the greatest advantages of going to a public school located in the heart of the city is the cultural diversity experienced by the students.
Tech and many other universities act as a large melting pot for many ethnicities and diverse groups of people to come together, to study and to learn in the same environment as one another.
To recognize cultural diversity, many students and faculty have come together to create groups such as the Association Internationale Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (AIESEC) to host events such as a Global Village.
They also give the community the opportunity to come together with multiple other national groups and clubs to host events beyond Global Village, such as the International Food Festival, which is a collaborative event.
On Monday, April 4, clubs participating at the Cultural Fest collected on the Instructional Center Lawns and set up to begin the festival.
A myriad of bright colored flags peppered the lawn, and the scents of spices flavored the air.
The turnout for the event was large, with many people perusing the area line up for their chance to sample the unique dishes offered at the food tent and visit with the different cultural tents to learn more about each of the countries cultures.
At least 13 different countries offered a popular native cuisine for students to sample.
“This is the third year we have hosted Global village, and it’s an event that AIESEC is putting on to bring international cultures to Georgia Tech, and bringing those cultures to the students of Georgia Tech so that they can experience what we try to get our members of AIESEC to experience by going to conferences and things abroad,” said Kate Wharton, former AIESEC President and a third-year GEML major.
“We get participants by reaching out to all of the different student organizations at Tech and ask them to participate,” Wharton said.
She also spoke about AIESEC and what it is as an organization.
“AIESEC is an international student organization. Our goal is to send students to different countries to do internships so they can experience different cultures, and have an impact on the society that they are living in and also be impacted by that society so that they can grow and develop their leadership and then spread that to the rest of the world when they come back to their own country,” Wharton said.
Other students come out to serve food and help volunteer in the event.
Mohammad Vasheer, an ECE grad student from Pakistan, spoke about the native Pakistani dish he was serving.
“This has a lot of chicken and a lot of yogurt and some exotic spices. You marinate it and leave it for two to three hours and then you dry roast it. It looks spicy, but it’s not that spicy. The other dish we have is made from chickpeas, cilantro and some spices so it gives it a minty and spicy taste. I’m here to show people that Pakistanis eat a lot of protein,” Vasheer said.
This is Vasheer’s third year participating in the event, and he plans to continue to participate as long as he is at Tech.
Many students came out to the event to sample the large array of cuisines available.
Ona Meeks, a second-year BIO major, spoke of her experience.
“This is my second year coming to this event and I come because I love the food, and you get so much of it,” Meeks said.
Adjoa Aka, a second-year ISyE major, talks about her background living in Togo, West Africa and how the Global Village reminds her of her home cuisine.
“I am from Togo, West Africa and we make certain foods in my country similar to what is here today,” Aka said.
Other students simply go to enjoy the food and to get a taste of another culture very different from their own.
Overall, the event is a great experience for anyone who wishes to expand their horizons and experience and learn about things foreign.