The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

International afternoon

Aaron Vehling

Students, faculty and community members traveled around the world Sunday afternoon at the UW-Eau Claire Center for International Education’s annual Folk Fair.

The fair was held in Davies Center, where student and community organizations and ethnic groups represented countries with food, live music, crafts and educational information.

Phil Huelsbeck, international student adviser, said nearly 40 countries were represented at the fair, which was free to the public. “Every room in upstairs Davies was filled,” Huelsbeck said.

He estimated the turnout to be about 4,000 people.

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Hayley Diment, a sophomore exchange student from Great Britain, worked in the British room of the folk festival. The room included a feast of Yorkshire pudding and gravy, and games for kids. Diment said that the fair was a success.

“We got a lot of little kids, and they all seemed to be having a really fun time,” she said.

Elina Spule, a junior exchange student from Latvia, performed traditional Baltic songs and dances in the Baltic Student Organization’s room.

The organization represents Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Spule said the fair is not only a fun activity for the visitors, but also for those involved in the clubs.

“It really is a pleasure to prepare for the Folk Fair,” Spule said, “and it is fun for us.”

Some rooms had demonstrations of traditional cultural activities.

The Chinese Cultural Association had an acupuncture demo, storytelling and Chinese folk songs.

Sophomore Ashley Wong, a member of the association, said the Folk Fair is one of the best international activities in the Eau Claire area.

“People can come get a complete cultural experience here,” she said. “It’s organized here, and instead of just learning about other cultures, you can actually go out and see things.”

Spule agreed that the Folk Fair is a convenient way to learn.

“I think it is a really excellent way to see the world, especially if you cannot afford to travel,” Spule said.

The Latin American Studies Club included pi¤ata decorations and a variety of Latin American foods.

Joseph Kanke, a senior Latin American Studies major, said the folk festival exposes people to cultures they may otherwise not encounter.

“Because Eau Claire doesn’t necessarily have a good representation of different ethnicities, the Folk Fair can expose people to other cultures,” Kanke said.

Visitors to the Folk Fair were given passports that were stamped in each room after stating a fact that they had learned.

In addition to separate country rooms, visitors to the fair could stop and listen to a Calypso band, and Polish and Czech accordion music.

“All in all, I think the fair went really well,” Huelsbeck said. “Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.”

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International afternoon