International Festival celebrates Kentuckiana’s growing cultural diversity

31st March 2021

By Steven Krolak

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Say “Kentuckiana,” and Zimbabwean marimba is not what leaps to mind.

But like Indian classical dance, Ethiopian cuisine and Scottish bagpipes, the sound of Zimbabwean marimba has become as distinctive a part of the region as riverboats, Lenten fish frys and horse racing.

To bring the burgeoning cultural diversity of our community within a Zoom-click, the IU Southeast International Festival returns April 5-8 with its signature burst of sights, sounds and tastes, provided by friends and neighbors from around the world who have made this their home.

This year’s festival includes pre-recorded performances by the Louisville Pipe Band, Kuvebo and Ville Casineras, and live performances by the Ryan Academy of Irish Dance, Mbira, Flamenco Louisville, and the Guru Vandana Arts Academy.

The winners of an online raffle will receive gift certificates to area restaurants, including Aladdin, Mai Thai, Dakshin, Queen of Sheba, Shreeji, Vietnam Kitchen and more.

Restaurants in the community have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, so this event will help contribute to their survival, not only through the gift certificates but also through making them known to more students, faculty and staff.

The International Festival is sponsored by the Office of Study Abroad and Global Awareness (SAGA) with the
purpose of raising international awareness and appreciation through music, dance, and food.

“We live in an increasingly intertwined world and so it is imperative that we have some understanding of the other cultures that inhabit the globe with us,” said Dr. Anne Guernsey Allen, professor of fine arts and co-director of SAGA. “The International Festival is a small step in helping us learn about one another and, in doing so, respect our similarities and differences.”

To register for these free events, follow this link.

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