Students, faculty, staff and community members explored cultural offerings from seven countries and regions while wandering decorated white tents outside PC’s Greenville Dining Hall.
It all happened on Tuesday, Oct. 2, as part of PC’s Confucius Institute’s fourth annual International Day Festival. The event is held each year to recognize and celebrate diversity across the campus and community.
Activities included performances, cultural displays and ethnic cuisine from areas such as China, South Korea and several Hispanic regions.
PC President Bob Staton and Confucius Institute Director Dr. David Liu provided the opening remarks during the event.
“Today is an opportunity for us to get to understand each other better,” Staton said. “It’s great to appreciate each other, appreciate our differences, and understand them better.”
A Chinese dragon dance by PC students and faculty followed the introduction along with musical and Tai Chi performances.
The festival “serves as a platform so that people can get to learn about each other, to be open to something that is different than what they are used to,” Liu said.
“Through this type of more casual social setting, they can talk to each other. They can learn to appreciate each other as people coming from different cultures but sharing the same values and ideas,” he continued. “And there’s not too much difference between people. People should not be divided by their skin color or by the different food they eat, but people can be united.”
The event also allows PC’s American and international students an opportunity to interact more, Liu said.
PC junior Zoe Montague, who is interning with the Office of Multiculturalism, agreed. Montague discussed Hispanic Heritage Month during the event.
“PC is always trying to increase diversity and increase student involvement, and this is a way to hit both of those points,” she said. “I really like the chance, and I know other students appreciate the chance to get to learn about different cultures.
“For a small school, we do have a lot of international students who go here, but it can be hard to get to know the international students on a one-on-one basis unless you go the International House or make friends with a couple of them. So, this is a good opportunity to get to know all of the different cultures that are represented here.”