Suzanne Carpe ‘22
The Festival of All Nations at Trinity College is a special event that commemorates the richness of diversity and culture that adorns our beloved institution. This year, which saw the second occurence of the festival, took place on Saturday, Sept. 28 on the LSC Quad. It consisted of 25 booths, including 6 organized by student cultural groups: the Caribbean Students’ Association, the Asian American Student Association, the Trinity College African Student Association, La Voz Latina, the House of Peace, and the Hawaii Club. Additionally, many booths were organized by groups of international students or individuals, including those representing Sweden, Argentina, Central America, and the Maldives, among others. The other booths at the event did not represent a specific country but rather activities enjoyed around the world, such as a table for board games like Mahjong and Go, table tennis, cricket, and soccer. There was a dance performance by Do Shakara, and the Hartford Steel Symphony wrapped up the event with a concert. Additionally, there were three food trucks from some local Hartford eateries: Baba Ganoush, El Bori, and Story and Soil.
Event attendees enjoyed traditional foods such as pupusas and empanadas, games, and activities from several regions of the world with live music and entertainment. The Office of International Students and Scholars is one of the principal organizers of the event. Summit Fellow for International Student Support Noah Weber, who works in the OISS Office, expressed that the Festival of Nations is important because, “it is one instance of our school’s many unique cultures interacting with one another in one place in a celebratory way.”
The International House was a general collaborator and co-sponsor, providing funding for one of the food trucks, Baba Ganoush, and volunteering their time for event setup. They also ran some of the booths and helped advertised the festival. The President of the I-House, Sababa Anber ’20, expressed that she was very satisfied with the turnout of the event, adding that “it was great, and everyone had a lot of fun. The performances were amazing.” Similarly, one of the I-House’s Social Chairs, Aadiv Sheth, added that students from all years and backgrounds came to the Festival to celebrate each other’s culture and that it was “beautiful” to see so many diverse people united in such way.
Attendees also expressed their appreciation of the event. Katie Russell ’22 mentioned how amazing it was to see so many different countries represented at Trinity. She recalls a friend telling her it was “a different side of campus you don’t normally see.” Russell says her favorite part of the celebration was the food because she appreciated how passionate people were about their own traditions and how excited they were to share them with others.
On the other hand, Alli Wells ’22 mentioned how she went to the Festival of All Nations without really understanding what it was, but she found it truly exciting to witness how much effort everyone put into creating a table that represented their country. Her favorite part of the event was trying a variety of dishes and candies that she had never had before.
Although this year’s festival has just passed, next year’s will come fast enough. If you didn’t get the opportunity to visit this one, make sure to stop by next year and see the plurality of nations from which Trinity students hail. Alternatively, you can relive the excitement for yourself by checking out many photographs from the event on Instagram at @trinoiss and @trinitycollege!