Feast of Nations unites the University

Destanie Martin-Johnson

Music rang from amplified speakers on a stage on Coffman Union’s front plaza as the Feast of Nations celebrated traditional cultural dances, songs and food throughout Saturday afternoon and into the night.

Participants saw traditional Native American dances, Chinese and Indian singers performing in their native languages, a fashion show dedicated to traditional cultural clothing and more.

At the end of the night, participants ate food from countries around the world. It was interesting to see the ways that different cultures celebrate, worship and appreciate art. Many of the song and dance performances underlined the values of love, friendship and unity.

Although different cultures have different clothing, music or languages, ultimately it seems that we’re not so different from each other.

We may interpret and translate them in our own unique ways, but most Americans value friendship, love and unity just as people from other cultures do.

I feel that people should pay more attention to these types of details. Culture influences how we interpret our surroundings. If we can understand other people’s cultures, we can learn to recognize and appreciate the values we share instead of always focusing on our minute differences. This will ultimately make us well-rounded people.

The Feast of Nations proved to be an effective way to promote and share facets of different cultures. Despite the fact that the University of Minnesota hosts only one Feast of Nations per year, the school also hosts many other events that promote appreciation for other cultures, as do the Twin Cities. Everyone should continue to seek out unique traditions other cultures bring, even if it’s only a simple meal or a performance.