Worldfest Celebration


Written and filmed by Nicholas Hampton, Multimedia Project Specialist
November 20, 2019

With 195 countries, the world can feel like a pretty big place and with over 30 thousand students, so can the University of Connecticut. Worldfest is a place where students, faculty, and local residents can make the world and the campus feel a little more like home by sharing their own cultures and traditions with the community. On November 9, 2019, UConn students showcased the global community on campus and created a vibrant atmosphere with traditional outfits, dances, music, and food from all over the world.

This year the Worldfest went green, taking careful steps before, during and after the event to encourage actions that focus on global efforts and approaches to environmental sustainability. The Worldfest Planning Committee eliminated paper waste leading up to the event by going digital, says Committee Chair Leslie Lawrence.

“In years past, I made a copy of every document for every person on the planning committee, so this year we cut back on waste a considerable amount by using laptops and a projector,” Lawrence says. “We emailed departments and attached the digital image to print themselves or distribute to their own contacts instead of cardstock paper ads and posters.”

During the event, guests could enjoy lavish food using environmentally friendly cutlery, plates, cups and napkins. Between the performances, people could win prizes such as stainless steel straws, reusable tote bags, and mesh produce bags for grocery shopping by answering questions about environmental statistics.

There was even a table to build a bamboo plant by selecting a plant and environmentally friendly colored gel beads in a glass votive holder, or pick up an herb plant from the Spring Valley Student Farm booth.

Manchester resident Marisa Tatiwong brought her son to the event in a traditional Thai outfit to experience the celebration of traditions and show off a little of his own.

“This celebration of global cultures on-campus provides a fun space where I can bring my son,” Tatiwong says. “It’s important to expose him from a young age to the value and joy that can come from embracing his own identity growing up in a multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural family.”