On November 13, 2021, Presidents Hall was home to the latest yearly installment of the IU World's Fare, a display of booths from various student-run organizations dedicated to educating the IU community about world cultures. The World’s Fare has long been hailed as a favorite among students for its ease of interaction throughout an evening of entertainment, music, and light sampling of sweets from around the world. The goal of the World’s Fare is both altruistic and inclusive, as a representation of the diverse backgrounds upon which IU’s student body draws at all levels. Each of these clubs represents a unique community of students, several of which composed a substantial proportion of the sociocultural, linguistic, and historical expanses of Eurasia.
As part of the evening’s festivities, student clubs registered and decorated booths with traditional garments, textiles, artefacts, musical instruments, and pop-culture elements that carry distinct currency for their titular nations and cultures. Each club was in the running for winning special recognition among the judged portion of the event that scored booths on their educational content, style, organization, and interactional activities. Attendees could take a leisurely walk along the socially-distanced paths designated throughout the booth area, practicing their language skills with club organizers and having a go at several educational activities, from traditional card games to guessing the correct pronunciation of the names for several Polish cities.
The IAUNRC assisted one booth by supplying various cultural artefacts, national dress, and musical instrument replicas to student officers of the Balkans, East European, Kavkaz and Asia Association (BEEKA), a club composed of titular representatives of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and countless other Eurasian nations. Each of the students donned their traditional dress, sharing historical facts with booth attendees and providing insight on the importance of cultural exchange through dialogue. Though the club itself is composed of students from disparate nations with stereotypical expectations about intercultural tensions, students' teamwork and community are testament to the power of their diversity, from the languages they spoke to attendees to the rich mosaic of textiles and scripts draping their booth. Each booth was similar in that none was like the former, in the spirit of celebration and visibility for the students and communities without whom the event would not have been possible.
The event culminated in a live exhibition, giving students from each of the participating organizations a chance to show their skills and celebrate their cultures through music and dance. Student and staff attendees alike cheered each performance with eager anticipation, marking the enthusiasm for exchange that is characteristic of the IU community at all levels. The IAUNRC was enthused by the impressive display organized by the students and is proud to have seen each of these organizations put on their best shows!