Community celebrates diversity and culture
Thursday’s Global Bazaar brought vendors, clubs and University organizations together in the Shapiro Campus Center, where community members were invited to explore different cultures.
The event took place as part of the University’s annual I Am Global Week and included a DJ, food from all over the globe and interactive activities, such as the International Students and Scholars Office’s “people bingo.”
“People bingo” asked attendees to find people that matched certain descriptions — including “I speak more than one language” or “I have a passport” — and fill in all the boxes on the scoresheet with other attendees’ names. Once all the boxes were filled in, attendees could receive a prize from the ISSO table, according to the scoresheet.
International Student Advisor for Community Integration Jingwen Yan came up with “people bingo” after speaking with a student the night before the Global Bazaar. “A student was telling me that he’s been here for like three months, but he only knows one graduate student,” Yan explained.
“At Brandeis, we have a lot of events, but a lot of them are targeting towards one single group of students,” Yan said. “I Am Global Week is for everyone, so I really want to create an opportunity to have people really get to know each other and talk to each other.”
Other interactive activities included a trivia wheel from the Office of Study Abroad. After spinning the wheel, students could answer a question about study abroad or travel in order to win a prize, according to Study Abroad Ambassador Danielle Gaskin ’18.
The Office of Study Abroad also organized the Global Photo Contest in collaboration with the ISSO. At the Global Bazaar, attendees had the opportunity to vote on one of the five finalists with paper slips handed out by Study Abroad Advisor Alisha Cardwell.
To create their own global photos, students at the Global Bazaar stood in front of a green screen and had their photos taken by Khuong Nguyen, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System administrator at the ISSO.
“We just thought it’d be fun to have a green screen where people could just come together, take pictures, have fun and see the world even if they haven’t traveled there,” Nguyen said, adding that this was the first time the Global Bazaar had incorporated a green screen. Students could choose to be placed in front of locations in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia, and the crowd favorite seemed to be the pyramids in Egypt, according to Nguyen.
In addition to participating in these activities, attendees mingled and visited the tables of a variety of cultural organizations on campus, including the French and Francophone Club and the Russian Club.
“Everyone is kind of sharing food with each other and excited to learn about someone else’s culture,” said Kristen Keilty, a post-baccalaureate student with YourStory International.
The experience is a great way to make friends and connect with people through culture, Keilty added.
As Israel Mnyitafu ’19 from the Brandeis African Students Organization explained, the Global Bazaar is not only “a chance for us to share our culture with them” but also “a chance for us to learn and obtain new information” about other cultures.
Rai Terry, a student worker at the Gender and Sexuality Center, remarked on the intersectionality of the Global Bazaar. Brandeis has a “really big international community, and within that international community, there’s a lot of different queer identities, so it’s important for us to be here supporting those communities throughout the globe,” Terry said.
The evening concluded with performances from the Rebelle Dance Team, the Brandeis Music department’s Fafali and Vascrik.
—Editor’s note: Nia Lyn ’19, the Forum editor of the Justice, performed at the Global Bazaar with the Rebelle Dance Team.