Annual International Festival a feast for all the senses

Coalition organizes lively event in Dion celebrating diverse cultures through dance, music, arts and food

April 25, 2023
Staff/student report

Attendees at International Festival line up for delicious food varieties. (all photos by Andy Duback)

International Festival, a celebration at Saint Michael’s College of diverse cultures through dance, music, arts, food, and more, drew a large and enthusiastic cross-section of the campus community on Saturday, April 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Dion Family Student Center Roy Event Room.

Isabella Paredes’ 24, marketing representative for the Diversity Coalition Executive Board (event sponsors), said Coalition members are “committed to celebrating multiculturalism and ideologically diverse perspectives at Saint Michael’s College, and beyond. With this event, we are not only celebrating diverse cultures worldwide, but we also are exposing our college community to the enrichment global citizenship brings.”

“Diversity Coalition believes that people can grow and challenge their beliefs by pushing themselves outside of their own experiences,” Paredes said. “International Festival promotes acceptance of differences that exist in our community and the world. Engaging with this event promotes social wellness through bonding and connecting with fellow community members. It was a night full of good energy and healthy exchange!”


Pamwinee of the UVM Afro fusion Dance Team performs.

It was also an UpLift sponsored event, for which St. Mike’s students can earn certain credit and prizes for attending.

“We had a very good turnout,” said Paredes. “I’ve been hearing comments that it was one of the most well-attended International Festivals so far. The room was full!”

The evening’s program included some skilled off-campus performers: Pamwinee from the UVM Afro fusion Dance Team, and Alkali, and an independent dance group based in Burlington.

Also, Choeden Lama, assistant director at Diversity Coalition, and Tashi Sherpa sang Nepali pop and folk songs. “We also had student performers,” said Paredes. “Delaney Progren ’25 and myself performed a K-pop dance. We also had a student — I believe he is one of the African high school students staying on campus — perform a dance.”


Coalition E-board members welcome guests.

As for food, Saturday’s event featured a wide variety of offerings from six different area restaurants: Sarom’s Cafe, Mulu’s Kitchen, Harmony’s Kitchen, Cafe Mamajuana, Jin, and Morning Light Bakery. “We also had seven students and staff members sharing their cultural dishes with us,” said Parades.

The Diversity Coalition Executive Board members behind International Festival were Chicha Romain ’25 (president), Jeremy Ceballos ’24 (vice president), Tulasha Pradhan ’25 (secretary), Andrea Herrera ’23 (treasurer), Isabella Paredes ’24 (marketing), Cameron Michael ’24 (advertising), and Caitlin Pico ’25 (general body representative).


This image and the one behind the headline show the Alkali dance group from Burlington in action at the festival.

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