From building dream catchers, a custom that originated with the Ojibwe, to mesmerizing dances performed by those well versed in the art of Brazilian Capoeira, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Culture Fest was a diverse and inclusive event that showcased not just the cultures here on campus but the food and customs of cultures from all over the world.
The 7th Annual Culture Fest was held on April 21 in the University Center Anchor Ballrooms from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included a wide variety of activities. Sponsored and put together by the Islander Cultural Alliance as well as with the help from various cultural organizations on campus, about 13 cultures were represented either through food, dance or customs during the event. According to sophomore psychology major and ICA member Savannah Anzaldua, the main objective of this event was to show the diversity of cultures around the world and bring them together for at least one day on the island.
“It helps to show different cultures around the world and on campus,” Anzaldua said. “Culture Fest also helps to educate both children and students.”
A good portion of attendees to the event were young children who were either working on crafts or dancing along to the performances; Anzaldua said she believes the event encourages children to explore beyond their culture. “The event shows them that no matter where they (the children) are from, they can be friends with everyone,” Anzaldua said. “It also shows the kids that their culture is important to us and that there are other cultures besides their own.”
While this event was educational for the younger children, it also helped some Islanders, like sophomore nursing major Kristin Villareal, better understand their own culture. “Personally, growing up in America, seeing the dances and culture of Mexico helps me to better understand and appreciate my culture,” Villareal said. Villareal said watching the performances, like the Spanish “Ballet Folklorico Viva Mexico” and the traditional dances of the Pacific Islanders, and seeing the different costumes and outfits traditionally worn for these customs was one of her favorite parts of the event. “I really like seeing all the different dances and costumes,” Villareal said. “The outfits are really pretty and mesmerizing to watch.”
For Villareal, this event was a good way to show the cultural diversity at the Island and the different countries which some Islanders originate from.
“Because our university is so culturally diverse, this (Culture Fest) helps represent different cultures here,” Villareal said. “Helps bring people from different backgrounds together.”
An amalgamation of cultures from all over the globe, the Culture Fest was an educational and enriching event for all the people who attended and allowed the various cultural organizations on campus and in the Coastal Bend area to share their background with those who generally wouldn’t have been able to see performances like this in Corpus Christi.
For more information about other cultural events on campus, visit the Islander Cultural Alliance’s website at studentactivities.tamucc.edu/ICA/.