Experience Color, Food and Culture at ULM International Week

Mar 26, 2018

ULM International Week is March 26-29. International Week celebrates the culture of international students at ULM through the sharing of food and festivities.

While moving to a different country can be hard, the International Student Center helps ease the transition. "The international students really become a big family," says Kaile Finies, an international student from Bonaire, an island off the cost of Venezuela. "It's important to have this big group because otherwise, people feel alone."

According to Arely Castillo, Director of International Student Services at ULM, the college currently has 341 international students from a large variety of countries. These students bring with them a wide range of cultures and traditions. International Week is these students' chance to share their cultures and traditions with the Northeast Louisiana region.

International Week Full Schedule
Credit Arely Castillo / ULM

The week begins with a flag parade across the bayou which leads to a party featuring henna, face painting, braiding, and a language table in Scott Plaza. At the language table, attendees can have their names translated into Japanese, Nepali, or other languages.

Tuesday, March 27 is the ULM celebration of Holi, or the Festival of Colors. "It is basically a day where we get together with family and friends and put colors on each other as a symbol of happiness," says Ashish Dev, an international student from Nepal. "There is a dish called malpua my mom makes, which is flour, baking soda, and other ingredients." Students are invited to celebrate by exchanging color powders in Bayou Park from 4-5 p.m.

The International Food Festival is in the Student Union Building Ballrooms from 11-1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28. Students and faculty cook dishes from their region. "There are up to 29 different countries represented this year," says Finies. Tickets must be purchased to attend.

More information about International Week at ULM is available here, or by contacting Arely Castillo at 318-342-5225 or castillo@ulm.edu.