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Festival Review
Author:Diana Stanislavova  Date:2017-11-23  Clicks:

On the weekend of the 18th and 19th of November, Wuhan University hosted the 13th Luojia Autumn International Cultural Festival that included over 70 countries. The weekend comprised of international food, drinks, experiencing different cultures, a catwalk, and performances from different nations. The event was hosted by four eloquent presenters and, in keeping with the international theme, two of them were international students and two Chinese, Jordan Frakes from the United States, Katerina Brusentsova who lives in Uzbekistan but is Russian, a Chinese boy Wang Zheng Ming and a girl Zhou Yi Le.

To get the ball rolling, the Russian team called A Million Nations performed first. They danced to a song from a famous Soviet-era film and sang a rendition of Polina Gagarina’s A Million Voices, Russia’s 2015 Eurovision song, both in Russian and English. This is just one example of the plethora of performances that ensued throughout the weekend, the theme, choreography, and music of each performance was down to the students. They had to choose what they want to perform, what dance moves to incorporate, and what costumes to wear. Preparation for the festival started early on and each country’s team worked meticulously to ensure that everything would run smoothly on the day.

A large number of visitors are expected to attend the festival weekend every year and thus, to avoid disappointment, preparations start at least a month before go time. Using Russia as an example, the team only had two traditional costumes for the performance this year and six dancers that needed them. However, the girls did not let their enthusiasm wane and, instead, went on a search for suitable materials and detailing to fashion new costumes for each of the girls in the traditional style. The costumes were made; the day was saved. Ergo, Wuda students are not deterred by a challenge but face it head-on. The festival marks an important way for the international students to express themselves to the Chinese community and engage Chinese people with their culture.

The atmosphere this weekend was a culmination of cultural gastronomy and fun. Visitors could purchase a passport at one of the stands and soak up the display of different traditions, taking in the splendor of unexplored cuisines, music styles, ornamented costumes from all over the world, and so on. As you explore the grounds, you can try tangy spiced tea from Iraq, salted tea from Mongolia, whiskey from the Irish, beer from the Germans and the North Koreans, a variation of pancakes from a variety of cultures, be it blinis from Russia or crepes from France. Basically any food you have ever wanted to try, or never knew you wanted to try but ended up eating and loving.

The festival is an event worth visiting, as Mane Shashikian, the Russia Representative, said: ‘That was my second time attending the cultural festival. I was quite shocked, looking at all these stands with different foods, looking at all these people wearing their traditional dresses. They were all so fabulous! And the atmosphere was so nice and fun. Everyone was laughing, dancing and having fun. We didn’t have any barriers, we just enjoyed our lives.’

If your cultural curiosity has been awakened, then be sure to pay the festival a visit next year!

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