It was a big week out for me. Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I typically live in an academic bubble and do not leave the house much other than to go to school and the farmers market. Well — and maybe a few other places. I have more extracurricular activities and getaways packed into this semester than I have probably had my entire duration at UNC Charlotte.
This week I attended the America I Am: The African American Imprint exhibit, which was developed in partnership with Tavis Smiley. When I arrived I received a complimentary copy of “The Rich and the Rest of Us” by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. Thank you! The exhibit is about the African Diaspora experience in America. Though, many Americans probably do not think about it, much of our culture derives from aspects of African culture, including music, dance, religion, language, food, spices, pottery and storytelling. It’s woven through the fabric of our country whether you know it or not. It is a great chance to see African art, artifacts from slavery, military uniforms, costumes of entertainers and political documents – if you are a history buff this exhibit is for you. It’s on tour and absolutely worth checking out.
Saturday I took a break from homework to attend UNC Charlotte’s 37th Annual International Festival, which thousands of UNC Charlotte students, faculty, staff and locals attended. Booths were set up inside our arena and outside on the outdoor levels surround the building making up an international marketplace. Art, household wares, clothing and food were for sale, as well as cultural information and tourist info for those ready for a vacation.
They had international games and inside the arena a parade of nations was held comprising UNCC students and members of the Charlotte community, including children. It was great to see all of the colorful traditional clothing from the different countries: Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Germany were among my favorite outfits.
The fest was a lot of fun. I ran into friends and professors. It was a toss up between the Turkish and Indian booths for lunch, but I decided to try the Indian food. I had the Veggie Biryani, Chana Masala & Veggie samosa with Iranian Tea –- trying to share the love. Yummo! It was the best Indian food I have had since London. I am glad I went, though it provoked a little wanderlust and made me wish that I was in Europe.