World Fest wows students

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    By Laurie Frost

    Sitting at a booth in the WSC Garden Court, Holly Marlow proudly displays a backdrop draped with the British flag. Featured on the table are such British pop culture icons as Harry Potter, Shakespeare and, of course, Wallace and Gromit.

    ?Most people come by to ask about Wallace and Gromit,? Marlow said, holding up a stuffed Wallace doll. ?Or they ask whether Robin Hood is real.?

    Marlow, a native of Nottingham, England ? hence the Robin Hood reference ? is just one of more than 200 students who are volunteering to help with World Fest, a week-long celebration of cultures hosted by International Services.

    The booths are decorated with cultural artifacts such as weapons, toys and clothing from nearly 40 countries.

    ?We have more than 120 countries represented at BYU,? said David Settle, director of International Studies. ?We have so many cultures here we literally don?t have room to accommodate them all.?

    World Fest, especially the daily cultural performances of song and dance, is publicized to the elementary schools in the area.

    Provo Mayor Lewis Billings made a special appearance Tuesday at the noon performance to congratulate the performers and the volunteers for their participation in World Fest.

    ?You?d have to travel many weeks to see what you see today,? Mayor Lewis Billings said, speaking to the elementary school children pressed against the lip of the stage. ?There?s a lot we can learn from different cultures, isn?t there??

    Mayor Billings also extended an invitation to all the volunteers to come to an open house Thursday at 3 p.m. at the city building.

    ?I think this is a wonderful opportunity to share cultural awareness,? Mayor Billings said. ?There are people who come here, sometimes from oppressive governments. We [as Americans] are a nation of law, and we want people to feel free and comfortable.?

    Settle said the American students can only benefit from this celebration of diversity in the WSC Garden Court.

    ?Where else can you go to one place and literally travel the world without leaving the room?? Settle said.

    Here”s what”s going on at World Fest this week:

    Wednesday:

    • Culture booths: Wilk Garden Court, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
    • Cultural performances: Wilk Garden Court, every day from noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Thursday:

    • Mayor?s reception, 3 to 4:30 p.m., 351 W. Center, Provo.
    • Banquet and fashion show, 6:30 p.m. WSC Ballroom.

    Friday:

    • Food Fest, 6 to 7:30 p.m., WSC Garden Court.
    • Talent showcase: 7 to 8 p.m., WSC Ballroom.
    • Latin dance: 9 to 11:30 p.m., WSC Ballroom.

    Tickets for the banquet, fashion show, Food Fest and Latin dance can be purchased at the WSC Information Desk.

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