Today was an amazing day as the sun finally started to shine after a week of rain. It was also the day when the UNCG School of Education International Committee and Coalition for Diverse Language Communities held the International New Year’s Celebration. Held at the Faculty Center, the staff and students, most from the international program and were visiting UNCG for the month, brought in various foods native to their culture. There were moon cakes, pasta salad, Korean pancakes (one of my new favorite international foods), Jamaican patties, pizza, rich chocolate cupcakes, rice balls, and other treats I have never seen or heard of before. Throughout the event, words of another tongue such as Chinese, filled the air as people engaged in friendly conversation. It is unbelievable how people from different origins, faces and perspectives can come together through food and discussions. I didn’t just see separated individuals, instead I saw the world coming on common ground as they enjoyed food they were familiar with and daring themselves to try something new while hanging out with a friend, talking about life here and on the other side of the globe.
It was truly an impactful experience for me. Not only did I discover Korean pancakes, I met a group of new friends. We spend the day talking about favorite animals, music, majors in science, cellphones, life in UNCG, and how it feels being in America. Life in their country is completely different from mine, such as the apartments they maintained were 30 stories high and close together while I live in a small yellow house. We discussed language, culture and vocabulary. I even told them about my life in Greensboro and about my Hispanic heritage. We were learning so much about different cultures; we just talked like normal people instead of going through lectures or reading textbooks. Though it is important to study understand global relations, it is also important to engage in communication. That is how the world can truly connect.
When we came to the topic of pictures, I told them of my photographic hobby and decided to show them my digital collection of pictures. I wanted them to have a chance to see how I viewed the world through my eyes (and camera lens). We had a grand time as we laughed and awed at pictures of my dog, family, favorite art works, experience in UNCG and moments in my life I wanted to treasure forever. Before the day ended I took a picture of my new friends, a new memory for me to save. Maybe someday we will meet each other again.
I have never traveled outside the outside the country before, so I envied them, as they took the chance to explore beyond the border of familiarity and discover how big the world really is. I hope the students who took the time to visit our fair campus grounds enjoyed their trip. Maybe someday, I will get to travel and see life in another point of view. It’s moments like these that show how humankind are willing to take risks, dream big, meet new friends and explore this world we live in. That is one of the reasons we should be proud to be college students, as we try to discover what the world has to offer. We are all part of this world, so take a chance to see it.
One thing is for sure, this was a great day, as people came together over a plate of Korean pancakes.