When I first came to Embry-Riddle one semester ago, I was very impressed with the fact that almost 11 percent of the students at this college are foreigners. I thought right away that it was awesome. Then, some months after the semester started, I heard about something called “ International Festival”. At first I did not understand what that title meant, and my first thought was, “ Oh, how cool, may be it is the way they name a party for weekends.” I kept hearing how fun and awesome it was going to be and since I thought there was going to be a party I certainly wanted to go. At that point I decided to ask to one of my English professors what it was about. When I was listening to her describing what “International festival” was, I realized that I was very wrong and instantly, I wanted to be part of such an event. She said the “International Festival,” is a yearly event coordinated by CIPS office to show and share to all the Prescott community a little bit of the culture around the world. Even with that explanation, I was still curious. The next morning I went to CIPS office seeking more information about it. Andy Fraher and Deborah Parris told me that this event is an opportunity to meet other cultures around the world such as people from UK, Sa
udi Arabia, India, China, etc. Also, they told me that every country participating has to cook a traditional plate to share at the festival. At that point I had no doubt, I wanted to be a part of such an amazing event.
I started thinking about what kind of food I was going to cook and how I was going to get a costume for the occasion. The same day I received an e-mail from CIPS office telling me that there were more Mexican students willing to participate in the event too. I got so excited because I thought I was going to be the only Mexican in the festival. This event also gave the opportunity to all Mexicans attending Embry-Riddle to meet each other. I can tell you that I was really happy to not be alone. The next couple days we talked every day in other to decide which plate we were going to cook. Also, I invited to my parents who were more than happy to attend and participate at the event.
On the day of the festival I was the first of my friends to arrive and set up our table. It was astonishing for me to see so many different flags hanging on the roof (I did not recognize many of them by the way), a lot students were wearing traditional costumes from their country and for sure there was a lot of food everywhere. The “International Festival” was better than everyone described to me. People begun to arrive and I could see people of all ages. In less than 15 min all the place was crowded. A friend and I were wearing traditional costumes from Mexico while we were serving food to our guess. I personally took the time to go around different countries tables to try their food as well. Without doubt, I can say that it was one of the most fun days I have had here in Prescott since my arrival. When every table ran out of food the show started. Middle Eastern dancers danced, then after they finished, Saudi Arabia guys started to dance with their traditional music, and at the end a little free dancing closed the event.
The “International festival” that Embry Riddle provides to the Prescott community is, at least for me, a wonderful event to bring together pieces of the world at least for couple of hours. When I was in the festival I felt that people are people everywhere. I felt that the only difference between me and them are the traditions and I felt that the world was no longer as huge a place as it looks. Simply amazing!