Mason Celebrates Cultural Diversity at 25th Annual International Week

Posted: April 8, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Mitchell

This weekend, an all-day soccer tournament and a cricket match will kick off the 25th annual International Week at Mason. Organized by the International Student Umbrella (ISU) and co-sponsored by the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS), International Week is an opportunity for members of the Mason community to learn more about other cultures through interaction with its diverse student body, faculty, and staff. Some of the week’s much-anticipated events include a dance contest, samplings of international cuisine, talent and fashion shows, and film screenings.

The opening ceremony and parade will begin at noon on Monday, April 11, with President Alan Merten presiding. Students are encouraged to carry their country’s flag in the parade; to do so, e-mail Also beginning on Monday, an International Bazaar featuring food, cultural exhibits, vendors, music, and dance performances takes place on the North Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

In keeping with the theme “I-25: Way to the World,” a reunion and reception recognizing international alumni will be held on Tuesday, April 12, in the Mason Hall Atrium. In another special 25-year event, student participants will fill a time capsule with memorabilia from this and past year’s International Week events, to be buried later in the week and opened at the 50th anniversary.

ISU President Hummira Hassani is very excited about this year’s festivities. “I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to put together events for the 25th anniversary of International Week. It’s really an honor.”

Hassani notes two tsunami relief effort fund-raising events scheduled during the week: a multicultural symphony titled “Music and Dance Transcend” featuring South Asian performers on Wednesday evening and a dance on Friday night. The dance will include food, drink, and two special guest DJs spinning music from around the world. Along with other efforts on campus, OIPS and ISU hope to raise $50,000 to aid tsunami victims.

An international dance competition presented by Mason’s international student clubs will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and a fashion show showcasing ethnic, traditional, and modern global fashions will be presented by Mason students on Thursday afternoon. Films scheduled to be shown include Oil on Ice, a documentary concerning the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and American environmental policies, and Bheda Ko Oon Jasto (Like Sheep’s Wool), an award-winning documentary on the journey of a Nepali folk rock band as they travel through the mountains of Nepal in search of an old folk song.

There are several informational panels and workshops scheduled as well, including a session on studying abroad sponsored by the Center for Global Education, and a seminar titled “Working in the United States after Graduation” to help students find information regarding H-1B work visas and paths to obtaining permanent residency.

The week’s events will conclude on Saturday, April 16, with the annual International Dinner Dance. For a complete event listing and details, see the web site.

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