TU’s largest multicultural event of the fall semester took over the second floor of ACAC.
The University of Tulsa hosted one of its largest events on campus, the long-awaited International Bazaar on Friday, Nov. 10. This vibrant and culturally rich occasion was an annual event organized by the Association of International Students in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Center for Global Engagement to celebrate the diverse community of international students at The University of Tulsa, showcasing the university’s commitment to fostering a global and inclusive environment. The event brought together students, faculty and staff in a joyous celebration of diversity.
As the clock struck six, attendees eagerly lined up before checking in at the Allen Chapman Student Union, anticipating the cultural showcase inside. Upon entry, they were greeted by booths representing various cultures, organized by multicultural organizations and groups on campus such as the Asian American Student Association, the South Asian Student Association, the African Students Association and the Russian Club. These booths served as cultural hubs, providing an opportunity for participants to explore the unique values of each culture. Featuring a variety of foods from respective countries, the booths not only satisfied taste buds but also allowed attendees to connect with diverse global flavors.
The event commenced with a gracious welcome speech from Dr. Vivian Wang, the vice provost of Global Engagement. In her opening words, she extended a warm welcome to the attendees and highlighted TU’s pride in being home to a large community of international students from 78 different countries. She emphasized that the figure is not mere statistics, but behind each number is an individual carrying their unique cultural identity, which contributes to the vibrant tapestry of culture at TU.
The bazaar continued with more fun activities that went beyond traditional event elements, featuring spectacular performances from diverse cultures, including energetic dances and soulful singing. These captivating performances not only injected the event with vibrancy and entertainment but also served as a dynamic showcase of global cultures through the universal language of music and dance.
Following the lively performances, the event featured a flag parade where students proudly marched into the hall, each carrying their nation’s flag. Tafadzwa Mbambo, the current president of AIS, emphasized the symbolic power of flags, stating, “A flag is not just a piece of cloth, but a proud symbol of one’s identity.” This parade served as a dynamic platform to showcase the diverse identities and cultures within the international community at TU.
Additionally, the event featured engaging trivia sessions challenging contestants on global geography and culture. The cultural journey continued with an elegant fashion show, where participants not only showcased their countries’ traditional clothing but also shared insights into the cultural significance and origins of their garments.
In a closing speech, Tafadzwa presented the committee members of AIS and the crowd joined in applause, acknowledging their hard work in organizing the event. With that, the International Bazaar at The University of Tulsa concluded, marking an evening filled with cultural richness and global unity.