International Affairs hosts global celebration

On Friday, March 30, the Office of International Affairs will host its biannual Celebration of Globalizaton to celebrate a dedication to diversity.

With more than 144 international partnerships in more than 45 countries, Temple’s presence spreads worldwide. The Office of International Affairs is promoting the university’s international initiatives with its Celebration of Globalization.

The biannual event will be held at Temple’s Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. in an effort to recognize Philadelphia as a leader for its dedication to globalization.

“Having so many people from the university and surrounding community come together to celebrate globalization efforts sends a strong message as to how important the topic is in today’s world,” OIA communications manager Ingrid Spangler said.

Temple enrolls 2,050 students from more than 120 nations, and in 2010-11 approximately 975 students studied abroad, an 18 percent increase throughout the past five years, according to OIA.

The purpose of the celebration is to honor the 2012 Global Award winners, President Ann Weaver Hart and Nancy J. Gilboy, president and CEO of International Visitors Council of Philadelphia.

Under Hart’s tenure, OIA was established, which is composed of inbound and outbound divisions as well as the Ann and Randy Hart Passport Program and the Diamond Ambassador Scholarship Program in 2007. In 2011, Hart won the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award, which is awarded to university presidents.

Gilboy will receive accolades for her pioneering efforts toward making Philadelphia a more prominent international destination and leading the success of the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia.

Each year, the IVC successfully links hundreds of rising and established leaders from other countries with Philadelphia’s leading businesses and institutions.

As the founder of Discover Philadelphia, Gilboy created a program that provides American experiences for international lawyers and graduate students through professional appointments, internships and monthly networking.

In addition, there will be a showcase that will include a fashion show, which will feature international wardrobe styles from around the world as well as eight cultural dance performances.

A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded for the best performance. There will be a panel of five judges, which includes two faculty, Clark Hu and Jillian Harris, two administrators, Gloria Angel and Gina D’Annunzio and Temple Student Government Student Body President Colin Saltry.

The Sprit of India, a dance group of five graduate students pursuing their Ph.Ds in pharmaceutical sciences will participate in their first U.S. dance performance.

“Every state in India has its own dance form,” Manali Phadke, one of the group members said. “Our group will portray different dance styles from various parts of India.”

“Through our dance we are trying to incorporate as many dance styles in one five minute routine,” Phadke added. “Our elegant and vibrant costumes are also something exclusive to our culture.”

The Malaysian Student Association will perform three different traditional dances, Silat, Zapin and Joget, as well as model traditional clothing.

Last year the group participated in the International Street Fair organized by Temple and won third place in the competition.

“The opportunity to perform again this year is an excellent chance for us to do some kind of comeback,” Malaysian Student Association president Afeshuhaida Othman said.

During the fashion show, the group will model baju kebaya, traditional clothing for females and baju melayu, traditional clothing for males, which are worn especially during religious celebrations.

“Baju kebaya consists of a matching blouse and sarong,” Othman said. “The blouse has a central opening which is usually fastened by kerongsang, or traditional pins that have a very classy and vintage look.”

“Baju melayu consists of a shirt and a pair of pants, which are of the similar color,” Othman added. “The shirt and the pants will be accessorized with kain samping, wrapped around waist.”

Othman said that kain samping is usually made from songket, luxury gold or silver embroider fabric. Men will also put songkok, a traditional cap, on their head and fasten the raised stiff collar of the baju melayu with one set of chained buttons.

Approximately 160 participants from the university and the Philadelphia community and more than 500 students, faculty, staff and community members are expected to attend the celebration.

“I think that it’s great that [OIA] offers this type of event,” Spanish and French major Colleen Connolly said. “It’d be interesting to see all the different performances from the different cultural groups because I’m personally interested in other cultures – it’s a part of my language major so I think it’s nice to have it available for students on campus.”

OIA will continue to make this a biannual event.

“Temple is well known for its diversity, and by promoting events like this, it gives a platform to its multicultural students to express themselves in their own original ways,” Othman said. “It is also a crucial effort in order to make people aware and appreciate the talents that these international students have.”

The audience can expect a cultural fusion of performances and most importantly insight on how our commitment to globalization is essential to understanding the world around us.

“We hope this event serves as an opportunity for international students at Temple to mingle and create friendships with domestic students, and sparks an interest in domestic students to pursue study abroad options,” Spangler said. “If everyone walks away learning one thing they didn’t know about another culture, we’ll consider this event a great success.”

Kierra Bussey can be reached at kierrajb@temple.edu.

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