Annually, Cedarville’s Multicultural International Student Org (MISO) works hard to help introduce the Cedarville University community to the cultures of its members. This year, the group accomplished this mission at a special World Fair event. This cross-cultural extravaganza was held in the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies and included music, original cultural dress, every kind of food you could imagine, and even an exotic petting zoo with animals from around the world.
The fair allowed me to dress up and remember my Jamaican heritage. People who came to my table tasted some Jamaican ginger beer (a super gingery ginger ale) and learned facts about blue mountain coffee harvested near my mom’s childhood home. As the students always remind me, they love the “back of the throat burn!” from the ginger beer. In the next booth, my daughters celebrated with fellow student Peter Shields their mom’s homeland, Canada. Every few minutes a new group appeared on the stage and the crowd of more than 1,000, clapped, cheered, and enjoyed the sounds!
When an Asian student brought me a Chinese drink to try, I hesitated. “Try this — you’re going to love it!” I wasn’t so sure; was it a joke? Could I trust them? Would it make me gag? The World Fair is all about moments like this. Sometimes what’s different can be unnecessarily scary. The World Fair helps us safely step outside our comfort zone and experience something new with our friends. The drink was awesome, by the way, and so was the fair!