Diversity celebrated at International Night Dinner

It was a global celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville International Night Dinner.
The event began at 4 p.m. on April 11 in Ullsvik Hall and featured a global marketplace, flag parade, dinner and dance entertainment from Ethnic Dance Chicago.
Velzy Commons was nearly full as dinner began, and attendees included UW-Platteville international and U.S. students, staff, faculty and community members.
“I loved all the different dances and the food from different places,” Alexandra Mines, junior chemistry major said. This was her first year at the event and she volunteered to help out by staffing a table selling t-shirts.
International Night Dinner has been held annually on the UW-Platteville campus for the past 50 years and is organized by the UW-Platteville International Student Club. The club, which is open to both U.S. and international students, is also celebrating its eightieth anniversary this year, according to the event program.
The event kicked off with a global marketplace in the Nohr Gallery where students shared displays and information about their cultures. Following the marketplace, students represented these cultures by carrying flags in the flag presentation.
“My favorite part was the flag parade because you saw all these cultures from around the world coming together and represented by their flags,” Roel Jongejan, junior business administration major said. Jongejan is an exchange student from Windesheim University in the Netherlands.
Each year, International Night Dinner has a different theme and this year it was “a golden celebration around the world.” The menu featured food from a variety of countries, including recipes from Greece, Spain and Trinidad.
“I think the organization did a great job. We had a lot of good presentations and the food was great,” Ananda Antenor, junior environmental engineering major and exchange student from Brazil said.
Antenor also served as a volunteer at the event and said that while her home university in Brazil sometimes holds similar events, it is not as big or well-organized as UW-Plattevillle’s International Night Dinner.
After dinner, Ethnic Dance Chicago performed dances from around the world. The group is a multi-ethnic and multi-generational dance group with performers from Madison and Chicago. Following the performances, Ethnic Dance Chicago showed attendees how to do some of the dances.
“This was a lot of fun for me and it was a bonus to get to see everything,” Mines said.
Next year’s International Night Dinner will be held April 9.