Culture and community celebrated during iFest

A selection of food from the 2014 iFest. iFest is an international food and cultural festival which aims to expose students to different cultures from around the world. (Nigel Amstock/CU Independent File)

CU Boulder’s 27th annual International Festival occurred Saturday, boasting dozens of booths representing countries all over the world. The annual festivities gave students an opportunity to learn about other cultures and share parts of their own.

iFest is the largest student-run event at CU, with the goal of providing an opportunity for cultural student groups on campus to share their culture with the community. The event’s many sponsors include Education Abroad, the Residence Hall Association and the CU Bookstore. Its top sponsor is the CU Student Government which also co-hosts the event. 

Filling Glenn Miller Ballroom with an immense and varied cultural presence, iFest was a celebration of culture and countries. Booths lined the sides of the room and tables were filled with cultural foods. On the stage, various acts such as the South Asian Music Association (SAMA) presented cultural songs and dances.

Students working the booths were eager to offer insights into the cultures they represented.

“It’s always amazing,” said Amogh Simha, a guitarist for SAMA. “Apart from all the food, it’s just a really good experience meeting so many people from everywhere. It’s always a lot of fun.” 

Amogh’s group, SAMA, played an impressive set that incorporated a modern pop sound into traditional South Asian music. SAMA was just one of the many different performers during the festival. Later, a group of drummers gave the crowd a high energy percussion dance. To the side, a small child playing a small percussion instrument, kept time with the adults.

In addition to the well-received performances, the international cuisine offered at the event was popular among attendees. Large crowds gathered around each booth to receive a small dish, representing a sample of that country’s cuisine.

“I’m enjoying the food in particular,” said Cliff Barnard, husband of former iFest helper Becky Sibley.

For those who would like to come next year, the festival is completely free.

Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Hank Graham at hank.graham@colorado.edu.

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