Latin American culture celebrated at Carlson School event

Ada Simanduyeva

University students from the Carlson School of Management joined international students from Latin America in sharing cultural experiences and traditions Tuesday at the Carlson School’s Honeywell Auditorium.
The event was a part of the “Get to Know the World” series, sponsored by GLOBE, a Carlson international business association that provides students with education about international business. The convention focused on seven Latin American countries — Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay and Venezuela.
“Today’s event is meant to celebrate the diversity of the student body at the school,” said Patricia Durst, a University business graduate student and the acting president of GLOBE. “We learn about international business, but this is more sort of the real cultural uniqueness of each country shown in a celebration.”
University graduate student Luis Moreno Miquilena said the Carlson School used to be less diversified, but through the years, more and more international students have joined the Carlson community. At first, international and domestic students did not interact much with each other, but now the relations are more open, he said.
“It is very important for the school that domestic students get the feeling for why it is important for school to have the presence of the international students,” Moreno said.
To add to the school’s diversity, upon admitting an international student, the Carlson School purchases the flag of each graduate student’s home country. During the first two weeks of the fall semester, the flags are displayed, showing the variety of countries that are home to many Carlson graduate students. Moreno said he thinks the tradition will expand so that undergraduate students will also be included.
“I think domestic students and international students from other countries do like to have the opportunity to see all without having to travel,” Moreno said.
The event allowed students that opportunity, by representing each country with a display of traditional food, decorations, clothes and ceramics. One of the tables showed the Mexican culture by featuring rebozo, a shawl-like garment, and a children’s mariachi costume.
Jorge Tovar, a University graduate student, came to the event with his wife, Cesiah, who cooked traditional Mexican cuisine. They came to the United States last August, and Tovar said he sees the event as an opportunity to represent his country.
Instruments were also on hand. Guiro, a traditional Latin instrument, and cuatro, similar to a small guitar with four strings, were some of the instruments featured in the musical performance.
The music was provided by Nicolas Carter Galland, who played the Paraguayan Harp, while Modesto Vasquez and Marlene Martinez played a cuatro.
Graduate student Tracy Gorman, Galland’s wife, performed Paraguayan dances while balancing a water jug and, later, a bottle on her head.
“It seems like in the future a large part of the demographics would be occupied by Hispanics and Latin Americans, so I was interested in the new face of America and what it would mean to everybody who is involved in the event,” said attendee Jennifer Panlilio.
Brad Sperbeck, vice president of events, said a similar event focusing on Asia was held last fall and the organization would like to represent every area of the world during the school year.
“I just hope it makes people at the Carlson school more aware of global issues and culture,” Sperbeck said.

Ada Simanduyeva covers international perspectives and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3223.