The Daily Gamecock

Cultural Street Fair exposes students to diverse customs

Cultures from all over the globe were represented at the Cultural Street Fair. Students were able to taste many types of food including pizza from Italy, rice cakes from China, baklava from Greece and snacks from Vietnam. Music representing different cultures played in the background as attendees explored the many student organizations. 

Sirena Paieva, a graduate student studying severe and multiple disabilities, has never been to a culture fair at USC, but learned a lot from her experience Tuesday.

“It’s a great way for the university to help get students involved in different cultures,” Paieva said. 

Paieva enjoyed trying the different foods, including a Vietnamese dessert drink called Che Thai. She said she would have never tried the drink outside of the fair. 

Karen Wong, a fourth-year math student and president of the Vietnamese Student Association, said Che Thai is a common fruit cocktail that uses canned fruit and coconut milk. She said the ingredients are fairly inexpensive and that it’s a typical drink for Vietnamese people. 

Wong sees the cultural fair as an opportunity to share about Vietnam because students should be open to learning about culture.   

“Our purpose is to just share culture and get people used to different ideas,” she said. 

Rachael Rivera, second-year international business and marketing student, said the Italian club is focused on being immersed in Italian culture. She said they spend time playing Italian games, cooking and watching Italian movies. She hopes the fair helps students gain a better understanding of Italy’s “beautiful country and culture.”

First-year civil engineering student Melissa Veal heard about the fair from her friends and decided to stop by. Since she is from out of state, she enjoyed learning about students from different places all over the world.  

“I think it brings everyone closer together since everyone's from so many different places,” Veal said.

The Indian Student Organization members gave henna tattoos at their table and had colorful traditional clothing on display.

Aman Sharma, a graduate computer science and engineering student, is a member of the ISO. Sharma moved to the United States in 2016 from India, so sharing her culture with students here is important to her because she has met people who are unfamiliar with the country. 

Sharma’s favorite aspect to share about her culture is her religion because it creates a sense of unity that she is proud of. Being a part of a cultural organization and participating in culture fairs has given Sharma the chance to learn about other cultures, too. 

"It's actually a great opportunity to bring out different colors from our country," she said.