Cafes bring people of different cultures together at SCSU

Many SCSU students are aware of the big cultural events that go on in the Atwood Ballroom occasionally, of which groups of international students get together and share about their culture. This typically includes performances in native dress, food, and music. But what happens for the smaller populations of international students who want to share their culture?

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the International Student Association (ISA) puts together an event called a Cultural Café. It is a free event that is open to all members of the St. Cloud community. This opportunity is very similar to the ballroom culture nights, but on a smaller scale. It allows for students to come and share a brief presentation on their country and culture, as well as offering some food from their country to those in attendance.

Disappointed that you missed this week? Not to worry, Cultural Café takes place every Friday at 3 p.m. in Centennial Hall Room 100. Each week, the number of attendees ranges from 30 to 100 people. The numbers have been rising as the event has gained more awareness.

The Cultural Café presents a unique opportunity to obtain a new, global perspective on different cultures and places throughout the world. A lot of variety can be expected from the Cultural Café.

The latest Cultural Café was presented by the Vice President and Culture Café Coordinator, Jovana Marinovic, who has been coordinating the event for a year and a half. Marinovic ran the show, presenting on Serbia, as she represents the only student at SCSU from that country.

“I really would like for people to learn more about Serbia. It is a country located in Southeast Europe, kind of right above Greece and across Italy. A lot of people will mix it up with Siberia, which has no connection,” Marinovic said. “I would really like people to learn a lot about it and see the beautiful history, geography, people and traditions that we have.”

Along with the information Marinovic provided, she made traditional cheese and meat pies that are common in Serbia.

It was the third and final time that Marinovic presented on her country over the years, as she is graduating this December. Her future plans include teaching English as a second language to students.

Cultural Café provides a great opportunity for SCSU international students that have smaller populations on campus to represent their homes in an authentic light. Not only do these occasions bring various countries to people’s attention, but it also broadens perspectives on different cultures and eliminates misconceptions.

The next Cultural Café will be held Oct. 24 on the Dominican Republic, followed by Ecuador on Oct. 31. Cafés to look forward to in the future include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar/Karen Culture, and the Philippines.

Another cultural opportunity coming up in the Atwood Ballroom is China Night, which will be held Oct. 25.

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