Mason Celebrates Its Diversity During International Week

Posted: April 12, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Megan McDonnell

international week
Photo by Evan Cantwell

“A Cascade of Cultural Expression” is the theme for this year’s International Week, a time when George Mason University celebrates its vast diversity. With 128 different countries represented at Mason, International Week gives students, faculty, and staff members a chance to experience cultures they may not know much about. Activities began with a soccer tournament and cricket match this past weekend, and events continue through April 17.

Today, the traditional Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations starts the week off at noon on the North Plaza. There will be welcoming remarks from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) and the International Student Umbrella (ISU), the organizers of International Week. Students will carry flags of the different countries represented at Mason.

The International Dance Competition sponsored by ISU and Mason international student clubs will be held on Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. on the North Plaza. The winners of this competition will perform Saturday at the International Dinner Dance.

Among the many guest speakers during the week is Col. Bui Tin, the Communist officer who accepted the surrender of the last South Vietnamese president in 1975. He will speak on the “Challenge of Political Reform in Vietnam and China” on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room H.

On Thursday, the International Fashion Show will showcase traditional and modern clothing from around the world from noon to 2 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. Participants can also learn about the different cultures of Africa through music, food, dance, and entertainment that evening when African Night is held in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall at 7:30 p.m.

International Week ends with Chinese Karaoke Night in the Bistro on Friday at 8 p.m. and the International Dinner Dance on Saturday. The dance will feature the winners of the dance competition held earlier in the week. Tickets for the dinner are $10 when purchased in advance or $15 at the door.

For more information and a complete list of events, contact the OIPS at 703-993-2970 or oips@gmu.edu.

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