International students share their cultures with Highline

By Peter Brooks - Staff Reporter

Cultures were on the menu last Saturday night as Highline's international students celebrated GlobalFest 2018 with food, dance and song.

GlobalFest has become an annual tradition whereby foreign students from around the world share some of their traditions with the Highline community.

Although much of the food now had an American flavor because they were prepared by Lancer, the college's caterer, the dishes were an attempt to reflect cuisine from around the world.

"[The various cultural groups] wanted to serve food, but couldn't due to potential health risks, so they requested certain foods from Lancer," said Ayano Tanaka, International Student Leadership council member.

Still, Lancer came through with its versions of vegetable dumplings, pork dumplings, vegetable chow mein, Vietnamese spring rolls, chicken chow mein, crab Rangoon, pad thai chicken, beef taco meat, Mediterranean beef shish kebab, teriyaki style chicken wings, and fried tilapia.

More authentic were the costumes and artifacts served by the Korean and Japanese contingents who borrowed from the Korean American Association of Federal Way and the Japanese Consulate in Seattle for traditional clothing.

The culture booths were open for the first half of the event when cultural groups displayed artifacts, shared information about their cultures, and invited people to participate in cultural activities, such as games or calligraphy.

There were fewer booths than in the past, but the more popular booths included the Arabic Club, Japan and Korea.

"This year was smaller than last year due to some groups being at events going on elsewhere," Tanaka said. "But it was still really fun."

Cultural groups represented included Arabia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Africa, Latin America, China, Japan and Korea. Some groups were represented by clubs at Highline.

The entertainment started around 7 p.m. and featured everything from South Korea's Gangnam Style to traditional African dances. There was an American rap performance and a Hip Hop dance, plus a Japanese J-Pop vocal performance by Jin Hirota and Takumi Aoyama. Dancers from Vietnam conveyed its traditions.

Korea's Gangnam Style performance was particularly fun for the audience due to its pop-culture impact in past years.

Making her debut as the coordinator for this cultural feast was Eva Engelhard, program manager of International Student Programs.

"This is my first year [as coordinator], but I've attended GlobalFest for many years," Engelard said. "Each year students have different ideas and it's really exciting."

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