The calendar just flipped to November, and that means we are on the cusp of one of my favorite times of the Mines year. No, hold the Christmas music for at least another month. I’m talking about International Day: an annual event put on by the International Student Council (ISC) and International Office to bring the campus together in celebration of cultural diversity. We had a chance to talk to Siew Chiang, the current ISC present about what this day means to international and domestic students alike.
Siew started her involvement in the international student community last year as an international liaison officer. “I basically helped the international students connect with American students,” said Siew. Part of her duties included planning events. ISC has already sponsored several events this year, including a Diwali celebration hosted by the Indian Student Association, but I-Day is different. “Our other events are low-key, mostly just for international students,” said Siew, “but I-Day is for everyone.”
“Since there aren’t a lot of international students on campus, it gives us an opportunity to expose our cultures to everyone,” said Siew. Non-United States citizens make up about 10% of the Mines student population, representing over 70 countries. “A lot of people haven’t traveled to other countries, so we bring other countries to them,” said Siew.
Set to be the first major event in the newly asbestos-abated Green Center, I-Day is comprised of two major parts; the ‘world bazaar’ featuring the cuisines of numerous countries and cultural talent show. “International foods are introduced to people, [and] a lot of performances happen from different countries,” said Siew.
“You get the exposure of having a global community in one day.” Siew, a Brazilian native, is most excited to share brigadeiros (a chocolate bite-sized dessert) and cocado mole (a coconut cookie/candy). It’s impossible to choose my favorite I-Day food, but the past couple of years I have spent most of my tickets on middle-eastern ice cream, spring rolls, African meats and Brazlian pastries. Last year’s show included South Korean rap, Argentinian dance, and funway walks from several countries. Food tickets are $1 each, and most food samples are priced modestly between one and four tickets.
I-Day is a showcase of the best parts of Mines, and it’s happening soon! Stop by Friedhoff Hall in Green Center on November 16th starting at 5 p.m. to indulge in foods from all over the globe. The culture show starts in the Green Center theater at 7 p.m.