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AUM organizes Cultural Festival to celebrate international students, community

Auburn University at Montgomery will hold its first ever Cultural Festival on Saturday, April 15, to recognize the many cultures represented on campus and throughout the Montgomery community.

a person standing in front of a store
Students celebrate International Week at AUM.

AUM’s inaugural celebration of cultures will feature performances, cuisine and art from around the globe, said Shanta Varma, special advisor to the chancellor for distance education and collaborative partnerships at AUM.

“We wanted to organize a Cultural Festival to celebrate the global community at AUM,” she said. “From our students to faculty and staff, AUM has representation from different cultures on our campus. This festival is one way to create a community for our international students to come together to learn about each other, who they study with and, in some cases, live with.”

With students representing more than 40 nations, AUM is home to one of the state’s most multicultural university communities. AUM’s festival to celebrate multiculturalism will begin at 3 p.m. and feature vendors and activities on The Quad in the middle of campus, as well as the nearby AUM Athletics Complex.

“When you think about Montgomery, it seems to be a small community, but it’s a big part of the Alabama River Region,” Varma said. “The River Region includes many international communities such as South Korean, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and African. It’s essential that our international students interact with these communities in the River Region and that the community sees and experiences the rich multicultural heritage that AUM has to offer.”

a woman standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera
Students attend AUM’s international student orientation.

Local vendors will showcase a variety of art, including henna tattoos and origami, and offer activities such as bounce houses for children. The event also will include a “Parade of Nations,” international music and dance performances (including salsa and merengue), martial arts demonstrations, a Theatre AUM play, and a performance from the vocal group AUMcapella.

“We also plan to share information about our summer programs, summer camps and other cool things that the AUM campus community has to offer to the River Region,” Varma said. “We hope that everyone will feel at home and that AUM becomes a place where they can build lifelong relationships.”

Festival-goers will also be able to sample a variety of international foods from local restaurants, ranging from Jamaican and Indian to Mexican and Southern cuisine.

“We’re excited to bring the AUM and Montgomery communities together,” Varma said. “While this is our first year hosting the festival, we would like to make this an annual tradition at AUM.”

AUM Cultural Festival

What: AUM’s Cultural Festival for international students, faculty, staff, and community members will include performances, cuisine and art from around the globe.

When: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 15

Where: The Quad and AUM Athletics Complex

Schedule of festivities: The free event is set to include:

  • Activity and vendor tables: At 3 p.m. outside the Athletics Complex and in The Quad, vendors will offer art, information, and merchandise.
  • Performances: From 4 – 6 p.m., international and domestic students and community members will perform dances and other forms of multicultural entertainment.
  • Food tasting: From 6 – 7 p.m., local restaurants will offer samples of cuisines from around the globe.

Information: AUM and Montgomery community members are encouraged to RSVP to the festival online.


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