African drummers
African drummers is one of the many arts and culture presentations featured at the UNM International Festival.

The University of New Mexico Global Education Office (GEO) presents the International Festival, Thursday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Cornell Mall on the UNM campus. The event is free and open to the public.

This year's festival features food prepared by numerous international student groups as well as crafts and vendors from several countries. The festival also includes live performances by international students, from Middle Easterns belly dancing to traditional African drumming.

The International festival is an opportunity for the UNM community to learn about and experience the world's flavors, sounds, cultures and more. Students dress in traditional clothing and regalia representing their heritage. The students prepare and present food, arts and crafts from their home countries, including Japanese origami, Indian henna hand painting and Brazilian coffee making.

"Our international students enrich experiences in the classroom and on campus by sharing their cultures and perspectives," said Mary Anne Saunders, special assistant to the president for global initiatives. "The festival is a powerful way to showcase the diversity of our global community."

Visit International Festival for more information and to view photos from previous years.

For more information, contact: Kat Elwell, public information representative, Global Education Office, or call 505-277-0906.

The World Student Alliance kicks off the festival with the International Fashion Show on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building ballrooms. The event is hosted in collaboration with localbusinesses and other on campus organizations. The show features traditional wear, creative outfits assembled by students and modern fashion by international fashion designers. 

“The greatest part of planning the festival is experiencing the enthusiasm and pride international students show in their interest to share the best of their country with our UNM community,” said Mavel Marina,  GEO program manager who helped organize the festival. “I hope our UNM community will attend this event and gain the value of unity and the importance of diversity on our campus.”

Over the past decade, the International Festival has displayed a wide range of international talent, with more than 1,000 people in attendance each year. In 2007, the International Festival was held outdoors for the first time, a trend that has continued in subsequent years, to include this year’s festival.

Festival goes should bring their appetite, as local restaurants and student organizations are preparing  delicacies from India, China, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Taiwan and Brazil. All food will be for sale, cash only. 

“The festival is a wonderful opportunity for people to meet students from a variety of countries, gain global awareness, and learn about a variety of cultures,” said Annette Mares-Duran, GEO student program advisor who helped organize the event. “By attending the festival, UNM students can learn about the opportunities for studying abroad.”