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Festival of Nations set for Saturday

With global cuisine, international performances, cultural exhibits and other activities, Festival of Nations will celebrate cultures from around the world Saturday on the Bemidji State University campus.

With global cuisine, international performances, cultural exhibits and other activities, Festival of Nations will celebrate cultures from around the world Saturday on the Bemidji State University campus.

Presented by BSU's International Student Organization, the 38th annual event will be held from 3-7 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Ballroom at BSU. Admission will be $4 for adults and teenagers, $3 for students with BSU student ID cards and free for children 12 and younger.

Entrees, desserts and beverages from around the world will be available for purchase at the event. Entrees will cost $2 each while desserts and beverages each will cost $1.

"The theme this year is 'Get Global,'" said Festival of Nations co-coordinator Xiao Qing Wong, a senior from Malaysia.

Senior Katrina Maliamauv of Malaysia said Festival of Nations gives international students an opportunity to give back to the community.

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"It's important because we live here and take in a lot of the culture," she said.

At Festival of Nations, international students reciprocate by sharing their cultures with people in the community, Maliamauv said.

"It's a nice, positive way to learn about people," she said.

Senior Cassie Forsythe of Malaysia said the event has lasted over the years because international students enjoy sharing their cultures. And, she added, Festival of Nations is an affordable, convenient way for locals to "travel the world."

On Saturday, international cuisine booths will offer an array of food and beverages, including tom yam soup from Thailand, bubble tea from Hong Kong and versions of acar, a pickled salad, from Nepal and Indonesia.

"The food is fabulous," Maliamauv said.

Wong noted that it's authentic because it's prepared by international students.

Also at Festival of Nations, the Beaux Arts Ballroom stage will showcase performances ranging from a Brazilian dance to a judo demonstration. An international fashion show featuring African dresses, a Yemen foota, a salwar khemeez from India and other traditional clothing is also planned.

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"We're also going to have an exhibition hall," said Maliamauv, noting that faculty and students donated various items from around the world to display at Festival of Nations.

Games and activities will also be part of the event, Maliamauv said. These will include henna, Chinese calligraphy, holographic bookmarks, face painting and some traditional Malaysian childhood games.

Meanwhile at Festival of Nations, a listening station will offer people the chance to hear music from around the world.

International merchandise and Festival of Nations T-shirts will be for sale at the event. Also, door prizes including gift certificates will be given away.

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