World Expo Offers Exposure to Different Cultures

Photo by Hope Patti

Showcasing cultural diversity and international opportunities on campus, Ramapo held its fifth annual World Expo on Wednesday afternoon. Upon arrival, students were given “passports” and encouraged to collect stickers from each table at the Expo. Several organizations on campus attended, offering culture-related games and activities for students to earn stickers.

"We wanted to provide students an opportunity to engage with different cultures around the world. We hope that we raise awareness and present the different global opportunities that Ramapo has to offer,” Ben Levy, director of the Roukema Center for International Education, said.

Students who attended were also given a yellow World Expo T-shirt and a raffle ticket for the chance to win prizes including GoPro cameras, FitBit wristbands and gift cards from local businesses.

“The World Expo was really interesting because it gave students a convenient and fun way to explore the world around them without leaving campus. It was also cool to hear about all of the study abroad programs and opportunities that Ramapo offers,” Melissa Aiello, a junior, said.

The afternoon also featured several performances highlighting different cultural traditions. For the first half hour of the event, students could watch a West African dancer and drummer, followed by a performance by Mariachi Oro de Mexico, the Ramapo Brazilian percussion ensemble, and flamenco dancing.

“I really loved the different foods, music and elements of different cultures that I don’t normally get to experience,” Monica Lucianna, a junior, said.

Food booths were also scattered throughout the Grove, offering free bubble tea, churros and Italian ices.

“World Expo is a great event for exploring different cultures through food and music — I’ve gone every year and it’s always nice to see how many people are proud of their backgrounds,” Sara Barsky, a senior, said.

Groups that participated included the International Student Organization, Macaw and Wildlife Sanctuary Natuwa, the School for Field Studies, the U.S. Peace Corps, the College Programming Board, the International Business Club, FEMinSTEM, HTH WorldWide Insurance, International Studies Abroad, John Cabot University, Ramapo’s Global Roadrunners, Ramapo Study and Intern Abroad, various Ramapo cultural clubs and the Queensland University of Technology.

"A lot of people were interested in studying abroad in Japan and doing our origami activity," Meghan Mudrick, at the Japanese Happy Hour table, said.

It seemed as though many students took the opportunity to explore different cultures and enjoy the Grove.

“I enjoyed all of the cultures represented by the food,” said Greg Nyman, junior. “I loved the music; it was really entertaining and made me want to stay longer.”