by Gabe Chester, Public Relations Intern
Where culture meets creativity, World Fair at Cedarville University will exhibit the unique and often unfamiliar traditions of the world through channels such as music, dance, craft, cuisine and various activities.
The World Fair will be hosted by Cedarville’s international student services and the Multicultural and International Student Organization (MISO). This free campus and community-wide intercultural celebration will take place in Cedarville’s Center for Biblical and Theological Studies building (BTS) on March 29, from 6 to 9 p.m.
The fair aims to spotlight the creativity and diversity within the kingdom of God. It will offer food from different ethnic and cultural traditions and a “special surprise,” according to Brenda Reid, Cedarville’s coordinator of international student services and MISO faculty advisor. Last year, the “surprise” was an exotic petting zoo and this year it should be “something even more epic,” Reid said.
— JooHee Hung
Last year, approximately 30 countries were represented through Cedarville’s international students, missionary kids (MKs), and third culture kids (TCKs) — students raised in a country different than where they have citizenship.
“It gives students who are from other countries, or have grown up in other countries, an opportunity to share and celebrate their heart culture,” said Reid. “It gives students here who may have never traveled out of Ohio, an opportunity to see the world just by coming to the BTS.”
Previous world fairs have featured dozens of tables full of food and desserts from Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, India, Korea and Ukraine. Students sometimes dress up in traditional clothing and sing traditional songs. From henna tattoos to Korean calligraphy, the World Fair never fails to surprise.
“World Fair is probably my all-time favorite event on campus,” said JooHee Jung, a senior nursing student from Daegu, South Korea. “It is a time of plunging deep into Cedarville's diversity — smelling, hearing, seeing, touching and tasting many colors and cultures, yet it is also a time of strong unity that we get to share as one human race and also as family of God.”
Cedarville experienced a 70 percent increase in international student enrollment from fall 2013 to fall 2018, with a record number of 65 international students on campus and nine learning in work-related off-campus experiences. There are also between 150 and 200 MKs and TCKs on campus, according to Reid.
“I think it deepens our understanding of just how complex and multifaceted the body of Christ is,” she said. “It helps us understand how we’re all connected in the body of Christ, but also how we’re different.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.