By Jessica Broverman, editor
Hilltoppers from all walks of life attended the International Country Festival. This festival introduced students to a multitude of cultures through music, dancing, education, and food. In just two hours, I learned more than I had anticipated.
One of the first countries presented was China. The audience was taught different ways in which people in China say hello, which include Mandarin and Cantonese among many more. Other information provided to those present included a discussion about Beijing, the capital of China, a tutorial about how to make a Chinese dish, and a deep look into Chinese Operas.
One of the things that I found interesting about this information was the fact that all actors working in Beijing must be males. Also, operas in China feature actors and actresses with their faces painted certain colors to represent whether they are funny, mean, good, and so on.
Indonesia was also a very interesting country discussed at the festival. I learned very fast that Bali is one of the most beautiful and popular places on Earth. Unique animals such as the komodo dragon prosper there, in addition to ancient tribes and their rituals. One of the rituals practiced in South Sulawesi was briefly discussed and it is called Toraja. Toraja is when a person passes away, but their friends and family believe that they have yet to reach their full death. Many have referred to this practice as “the walking dead,” but those who practice Toraja don’t view this as morbid or strange. It is more so seen as a process of letting the person descend peacefully into death.
Though this practice is interesting, Indonesia has much more to offer than just one ancient ritual. Indonesia is famous for its beaches, wildlife, and food. One rare and beautiful thing which occurs in Indonesia are floating markets. Picture a supermarket filled with fresh fruits all at your disposal, and now picture that store packed onto a canoe floating down a river. That is what a floating market very much resembles.
The last country presented was Pakistan. Many quick facts were provided about this country and included the country’s national flower, which is jasmine and the nation’s motto, “faith, unity, discipline”. Different types of dresses were presented and there were far too many to keep count.
Pakistan is located in South East Asia and is home to many successful people who have made the world a better place. These people include the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Abdus Sattar Edhi, who founded the largest and most organized welfare system in Pakistan, and Malala Yousafzai, who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and is known for being an activist for the right of education. The five WLU students representing Pakistan, finished off the presentations with a traditional dance. To view a video of this dance you may log onto Instagram and watch it here.
For more information about the International club or to learn more about these cultures, please visit here for more information. You may also visit the International office located on the second floor of the Student Union. Good bye! Or better yet, Selamat tinggal!