Skip to main content

East Asian food and dance shine at annual Eckerd College Festival of Cultures

By Grey Curcio '24
Published April 19, 2023
Categories: About Eckerd, Global Education, International Life, Student Life, Students
[social_buttons facebook=”true” twitter=”true”]

ELS students share Japanese culture with Eckerd students at this year’s Festival of Cultures. Photos by Grey Curcio ’24

The world came to Eckerd College last Friday as the annual Festival of Cultures took place at the GO Pavilion on April 14.

Representing more than 20 nations, student volunteers manned tables and served food and drinks from their cultures. Some of the most popular culinary treats were spicy noodles from Indonesia and kimchi, a Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetables. As students snacked and explored, they joined in activities, including striking at a piñata provided by Latinos Unidos and Japanese character drawing at the Japan table.

A festival attendee dons a Saudi Arabian flag.

While students mingled and sampled unique dishes, a steel drum band serenaded the crowd with covers of modern hits. At the end of the event, a group of ELS English Language Center at Eckerd College students performed a choreographed dance to “Butter”—a popular song from the beloved K-pop group BTS.

Nikki Bonfiglio, a first-year interdisciplinary arts student from Costa Rica, had a great time at the festival and admired the attention paid to each culture. “I’m enjoying every minute,” they said, sipping some traditional espresso from the Moroccan table. “Everyone put so much care into the booths … they explain [their cultures] so well!”

As a decades-long Eckerd tradition, the Festival of Cultures is loved by many and continues to be celebrated annually with a large turnout.