World Fair Friday wows

World Fair Friday was put on by Torero Program Board, and featured a variety of foods, including Mexican, African, Polish, and Filipino cuisine, as well as performances for Toreros. Ana Contreras Orozco/The USD Vista

Multicultural event brings free food, dance, music, and spoken word to campus

Anderson Haigler | A&C Editor | The USD Vista

Torero Program Board (TPB) brought the food Friday night, and Toreros brought their appetites. World Fair Friday, a multicultural event for students, took place in the University Center’s parking lot, and many Toreros were delighted with the wide range of food and cultural performances. 

Freshman Kathy Xu shared her excitement regarding the event.

“It’s really really cool,” Xu said. “It’s different food than the SLP which is nice, and it’s free which is also very nice. It’s a good way to spend your Friday night.”

The fair featured food from off-campus vendors ranging from Mexican to African cuisine,  and each student was given two tokens provided by TPB that  they could exchange for their choice of two entrees from the vendors. The complementary nature of the food was only part of the appeal for some students. For students who live on campus and have meal plans, World Fair Friday provided a chance for them to experience a diverse range of food they would not normally encounter. Ashley Weiner, a first-year student, explained what was special to her about the fair. 

“I think it’s super cool how they got a variety of cultures, like the African station, and the Polish station,” Weiner said. “Those aren’t really things you get to try very frequently, so I think it’s really cool that they offered this opportunity.”

Aside from providing students with an opportunity to taste a variety of cultural foods, the event’s intention was also to “promote and educate the students of USD about the variety of cultures found both on campus and around the globe,” according to TPB. 

Sophomore Michaela Tyus, the TPB Multicultural Events Coordinator, explained her vision for the event.

“The purpose was just to create a multicultural day and fair where students can go to learn about the different cultures that we have in San Diego, and kind of just taste the food, and enjoy different cultures,”  Tyus said.

Toreros seemed to agree that the event accomplished this goal. First-year student Emily Andrade shared how she felt about the multicultural aspect of the fair.

“It’s really interesting, like learning about different cultures and trying their foods and just kind of expanding your horizons,” Andrade said.

Performances on Friday were every bit as diverse as the food options . They included music from Vanilla,  a duo of USD students, a spoken word poem from first-year student Alanah Winston, and a folk dance performance by members of the Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization (FUSO). 

First-year student Alanah Winston performed a spoken word poem at the event. Ana Contreras Orozco/The USD Vista

First-year Irina Quibelan, a member of FUSO who participated in the dance, spoke about the event and her performance.

“I think it’s a great experience to get connected to my culture,” Quibelan said. “The dance is a traditional prayer dance from the Philippines that farmers would do. It’s kind of interesting in how it is different from normal dances, so it kind of captures people’s attention.”

Perhaps the most striking of the three performances on Friday, though, was the impassioned spoken word piece from Alanah Winston. The poem, which focused on Winston’s struggle as a woman of color, was fiery and energetic, and drew a crowd at the event. 

Following her performance, Winston discussed her feelings about the event.

“I think [World Fair Friday] was just a really cool space for people to come together and enjoy food and culture, and you hear mixtures of different talents,” Winston said. “I think a lot of times people of multicultural backgrounds don’t get a platform to show their talents, so I thought it was really cool.” 

In addition to the vendors and performers, student organizations tabled at the event, one of which included the United Front Multicultural Center (UFMC). 

Sophomore Wendy Martinez is a communications intern at the UFMC and shared her thoughts on World Fair Friday.

This Filipino dish was one of several cultural dishes provided for Toreros at World Fair Friday. Ana Contreras Orozco/The USD Vista

“I think it brings great awareness to see the different people here on campus,” Martinez said. “The event as a whole helps promote the student organizations here, as well as what we do, which is social justice and cultural orientation.”

World Fair Friday brought tasty food, entertaining performances, and culture to USD. Students can look forward to more cultural events on campus throughout the year.