By Jailynn Vidro
STORRS – The sound of beating drums filled the University of Connecticut’s Rome Ballroom as hundreds of guests poured into a room covered with flags from countries all over the globe Thursday night.
Guests enjoyed numerous international foods as performers took the stage for various cultural performances, and all tables were labeled with place cards representing a different country.
UConn Honors Council member Isaac Bilmes says the event signifies a “great” celebration of sharing different cultures and the ideas that come with them.
“International night is just [us celebrating] the diversity of both around the world and UConn’s campus,” Bilmes says. “There’s food from all around the world [and] a lot of different ethnicities represented. There’s various groups like UConn Tyco (a Japanese drump group) that just performed… there’s lots of other groups represented here…”
Throughout the event, guests watched in awe at the performances, answered basic trivia questions and indulged in different ethnic dishes such as chicken empanadas and chicken fried rice.
Jared Cour, a UConn student and spectator at the event, says he enjoys having the chance to try foods that differ from his usual dining hall routine.
“I got to eat at four different continents which is a change from my usual pizza and French fries at the dining hall,” he says.
Bilmes says he hopes that students realize how “special” they are at UConn and in the U.S. and that they’re in “such a diverse country and diverse area.” He says he encourages students to venture more out of their comfort zone as well.
“Just be open to new ideals and new people and travel and just immerse yourself in the global culture to become a better person.”