On a cold Saturday night, International Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato boarded an exclusive flight originating from Mankato with several stops across the continent of Asia.
Trip to Asia was an immersive experience for the community in Mankato, and was an opportunity for exploration of authentic food, performances and a festive atmosphere. Students worked hard to provide events to celebrate joy in life, lifting up each other and inspired other around them. It was organized on Saturday, Feb. 9
Every spring and fall semester, MNSU accepts many students from all over the world. According to the statistics, most international students come from Asian countries like China, India, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, creating an atmosphere of diversity at the University.
International students leave their beloved home countries and families and come to study here at MNSU, striving for a better future and a sophisticated learning experience which they don’t get back home. Several students come from middle class backgrounds. Luckily, MNSU provides scholarship opportunities to international students just for sharing their culture and traditions.
Students from different nations united to showcase their diverse culture by providing fine cuisines and performances, dressing up in their traditional outfits. Trip to Asia began with food on the CSU lower level, as volunteering international students started serving.
The night began with various delicacies such as Japanese rice bowls, Pakistani Kulfi and Samosa, as well as meat, veggie and of course sushi options.
Following the meal, participants got to engage with various RSOs outside the entrance of the ballroom, getting to know more about the participating RSOs like the Pakistani Student Association, NestCom and Japanese International Association.
Once the food trays were emptied, everyone gathered to see various performances in the ballroom.
Entering into the ballroom, it was impressive to see the amount of transformation that had gone into the ballroom, decked with a miniature mountain with photos featuring iconic locations around the continent of Asia.
The trip to Asia began with hosts Minahil Khan and Monalisha Pandey introducing Captain Anne Dahlman, Dean of the Global Education program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Captain Dahlman welcomed the passengers and shared her experiences through her time as an international student first, and now as an administrator.
As the hosts of the night flagged off the events with the first stop at Japan, the land of Inemuri – the art of sleeping on the job. This stop featured an energetic three-dance piece performance by the Japanese International Association dressed in the traditional summer Hakama. It is hard to say whether they really slept on the job, rather it was a ploy to kickstart the night.
With no time wasted, the flight took a sudden burst into the future land of Nepal featuring fusion dances in traditional pieces by the Nepali students. The night couldn’t seem to get any more exciting but little did we know, we were about to stop in the land of Bollywood.
In India, as you would expect, the dance featured the catchy rhythms of love and color, endless excitement as the audience clapped in awe as the performers moved their shoulders seemingly at 100 miles per hour with grins on their faces.
Following the layovers, co-hosts Khan and Pandey, entertained the audience in a game of love, distributing flowers and offering opportunities for the audience to be showered with love.
With the last flowers gone, the night went quite rapidly leaving no room for nothing but a feeling of a sense of sweetness and love from the remaining performers from China, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
Do not feel sorry in case you missed the event because there are other similar events happening soon, with the International Festival being one of them.
Feature photo by Nabin Bista | MSU Reporter.