International Festival

International Festival

My entire first blog post was dedicated to the international flavor of TWC's program. The diversity and richness of culture that surrounds us here at TWC is so salient that I feel I have to express this idea to you one more time, but from a different angle.


The International Festival, a semesterly event planned by The Washington Center, is a celebration of all the countries represented by the students in this program. All the international students get together by country, and plan out a performance for the talent show, a short speech about their country, models and clothes for the fashion show, and (the favorite) a presentation about their country's native foods.


As a dancer, I truly enjoyed the talent show, which included a lot of native dances from the countries represented here. I felt like I wanted to get up and dance with the Puerto Ricans and the Brazilians, and I really admired the Chinese for their poise and togetherness in their choreography. A lot of the performers wanted to incorporate the audience and invited the front row up to the stage to dance along with them. I didn't get a picture of it because I was too busy freaking out and dancing along, but the South Koreans did Gangnam Style! You already know it was a party in the auditorium!




For the talent show, some countries chose to perform a song. My Canadian roommate Taylor and her friend Miriam sang a catchy song that told an interesting story set in Canada. They sang, played guitar, whistled, hummed, and played the spoons. Here's a picture of Taylor performing for Canada at the talent show!



Another part of the International Festival was a fashion show. Mexico, Puerto Rico, China, India, and other countries were able to showcase native dress, and have fun while doing it. This part was also entertaining and a lot of fun!



Tasting the food, singing the Mexican songs, and hearing the Puerto Rican music and dancing in place with my friends made me miss the Hispanic culture that I'm constantly surrounded by back home in Florida. I had a better understanding of the native countries of the people who surrounded me, while feeling an overwhelming sense of pride and patriotism for my own country, Venezuela. This festival took place the weekend after Hugo Chavez, the "president" (dictator) of Venezuela passed away. This means that new elections have to be held in my native country to determine a new leader, and it gave a lot of my people hope that the violence in Venezuela and the shift toward undesired political movements would come to an end. This International Festival here made me want to show the people around me that I'm proud to have been born in Venezuela, and I felt that it was my responsibility to represent it, since I don't think anyone else in TWC is from there. So, I asked the really nice Bolivian lady who worked as a face painter during the festival to paint a Venezuelan flag on my face, to reflect on the outside the pride that this festival has made me feel on the inside. Two of my other friends, Meg and Annemarie, also got their faces painted with the flags of their ancestors. Meg is proud to be Irish, and Annemarie loves the fact that she's half Paraguayan.



Once again, the ubiquitous feeling of internationality here at TWC is one of my favorite parts of the program. I feel like a minority in this part of the U.S. because of where I come from in Florida and where my family is from, but I also feel lucky to be in the country I've considered my home for 19 years. Learning about people from countries all over the world is not really something that I expected to get out of my time here in D.C. But that's exactly what I'm getting from my internship program at The Washington Center.

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