Students sample foods from seven cultures at the Global Fest Night Market on March 11. International Student Ambassador Pinn Jingkaojai said 240 students attended the event. Photos by Sammie Wuensche
The annual Global Fest returned to main campus March 11, with a new look: the Night Market.
Participants had the opportunity to try foods from different cultures at Global Fest and learn more about each club’s culture. The Indian Student Association, Armenian Student Association, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Japanese Student Union, Korean Student Association, Pilipino American Student Association and Blue and Orange Indonesian Society tabled at the event.
Global Fest promotes cross-cultural exchange and understanding, junior International Student Ambassador Pinn Jingkaojai said. Jingkaojai said 240 students went to the Global Fest Night Market.
“The goal of Global Fest is to showcase the tapestry of cultures we have at Pepperdine,” Jingkaojai said. “The clubs had the chance to showcase their cultures and be seen through performances and food.”
Andrea Mella, one of The Student Programming Board’s event planners, said the aim of Global Fest Night Market was to embrace global citizenship.
“It creates a space for Pepperdine to feel a sense of community in a cultural way,” Mella said.
The Board is an elected committee of students that plan events for the Pepperdine community, according to their website. The Office of International Students Services provides various resources and assistance to international students at Pepperdine, according to their website.
The first Global Fest took place in 2016, according to previous Graphic reporting.
This is the first year that the Board and OISS collaborated to put on Global Fest, Jingkaojai said.
Last year’s event featured Asian cuisine and culture. The Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Hawai’i Club, Indian Student Association, Japanese Student Union, Korean Student Association, Pilipino Student Association and the International Student Ambassador Program all tabled at the event.
The Board and OISS collaborated to form the Global Fest Night Market due to their shared vision of promoting cultural understanding, Jingkaojai said.
Students who attended Global Fest Night Market had the chance to try food from the seven cultural clubs that tabled. Students obtained a card that each club stamped as they sampled the food. Once a student received six stamps, they had the opportunity to participate in a giveaway.
Three participants won packages including a bucket hat, tote bag and water bottle, Mella said.
Junior Julia Sokhatska said she enjoyed all of the food she tried at the Night Market.
“The foods from each country are so different,” Sokhatska said. “You can really taste the flavor and diversity of each culture.”
Students and cultural groups also performed at the Night Market to display their creativity. The RnD Dance team, Pepperdine’s K-pop dance team, danced to “Left, Right” by YG, while the Step Team performed a choreographed routine, Mella said. Sophomore Jay Shi from the Chinese Student and Scholars Association sang a Chinese melodic hip-hop song. Hayk Akopyan, brother of the Armenian Student Association’s president Arthur Akopyan, played the duduk, a traditional Armenian reed instrument, Mella said.
Participants had a chance to perform after the scheduled entertainment finished, Mella said.
“We had an open mic session, so even more performers came up,” Jingkaojai said.
Sokhatska said she enjoyed the Night Market and plans to attend the event next year too.
“It gathered friends together with new cuisine and and music,” Sokhatska said. “It was a really fun time.”
Jingkaojai said she played a large role in planning the Night Market. She reached out to the cultural clubs in partnership with her fellow International Student Ambassador, junior Camila Velayos. Jingkaojai also reached out to the Student Government Association to fund the event.
Junior Sabrina Musharbash, SGA’s vice president of finance, wrote in a March 9 email to the Graphic SGA partially funded the event.
Mella said she heard positive feedback from participants at the event and plans to collaborate with OISS on future events.
“I hope students left the event feeling a little more excited about the clubs we have on campus and the cultures we have on campus,” Jingkaojai said. “I hope we keep this tradition alive.”
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