| By Mary L. Atkins |
International Day at the College of Southern Maryland seeks to educate fellow students about other cultures.
According to Michelle Christian, Associate Professor of Communication at CSM, the Global Initiative’s Committee sponsors the annual event to promote international education.
The Comm. 1450 class as part of their Service Learning Project put this event together.
As visitors enter the exhibit, Darrien Kristinnsen, who is manning the entrance table and answering questions, immediately greets them.
The entrance table provided visitors with mock passports, keychains, pencils, erasers and flyers featuring information about each country represented in the exhibits.
“Our purpose for making this event is to make students of Leonardtown and CSM know, particularly, a few facts about South Africa,” said Kristinnsen.
He stated that South Africa is a melting pot nation, with residents from many cultures including the U.K., Belgium and India.
Because of this diversity, South Africa was chosen as the focus for International Day.
According to Kristinnsen, today’s event began with a moment of silence in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris this past weekend.
The group members participating in this event worked for the past two months to prepare their exhibits.
He stated there were ups and downs with putting the event together and that students met after class to discuss their project and split up the duties.
There were at least two students working on each exhibit and it was, “frustrating at first to get organized,” said Kristinnsen.
To the right of the entrance table, Murielle Patrey presented the U.K. exhibit.
This exhibit featured facts and photos from each of the U.K. countries, as well as various popular desserts.
Patrey’s goal was to educate others that the U.K. consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“As you can tell I’m quite passionate about this, I really, really love this country. I’m just so happy to be able to show the actual diversity that is the U.K.,” said Patrey.
She spent some time living in Northern Ireland as part of youth group ministry and spoke of the peace walls in Belfast that still separate the Catholic and Protestant communities.
According to Patrey, their civil war ended in 1998 and people in Northern Ireland are still feeling its effects.
To the left of the U.K. exhibit, and directly behind the entrance table, was the South Africa exhibit manned by Maureen McFadden.
This exhibit featured photos and facts, as well as many of the most common foods served in South Africa.
Vegetable curry, chicken curry and boerewors, an African sausage, were available for taste testing.
“Boerewors is best served with chutney,” said McFadden.
McFadden explained that curry spices and pumpkin are staples in all of the cultures that make up South Africa that were represented by the various exhibits.
To the left of the South Africa exhibit were the exhibits for India and Belgium.
Both tables featured photos and facts of each country, and the Belgium exhibit also treated visitors with various shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate.
Each of the CSM campuses hosted an International Learning event this week.