Multicultural festival celebrates UMSL’s rich diversity

Chinese lion dancers recently entertained diners at a multicultural festival at UMSL. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Relations, the event attracted nearly 500 people and featured performers and food from all over the world.

Gospel choirs, an Afro-Cuban ensemble and dancing from Latin America, Hawaii and the Middle East lent a festive air May 2 to the University of Missouri–St. Louis. About 500 students, faculty, staff and community members were on hand to participate in a celebration of the many cultures found at UMSL.

“Last year we piloted this multicultural festival and were overjoyed by the positive response of appreciation expressed by everyone,” said Natissia Small, assistant dean of students at UMSL. “Again this year, the program was extremely lively and engaging with performances, music, food and vendors that brought the audience together to celebrate the rich cultures here at the university.”

The event was one of many sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Relations during the year.

“We find it key to deliver cultural enrichment opportunities that help raise awareness and appreciation of our unique differences,” Small said.

Sodexo at UMSL offered up an international lunch with Chinese pot stickers, Brazilian rice and beans, African sweet potatoes and dishes from other parts of the world.

Performers from UMSL and the community included: La Morena, Latin historical dance; Chinese lion dancers from 9 Dragon Academy; Camille Malaena and belly dancers from Egypt, Morocco and Turkey; UMSL’s Gospel Choir; Hawaiian Polynesian Revue; UMSL’s Afro-Cuban Ensemble and Mama Lisa with her West African storytelling, drumming and dance. 


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