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posted: 2/4/2014 11:33 AM

North Central's International Festival celebrates diverse cultures

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  • Nine language immersion rooms will feature Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mongolian, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese cultures and languages.

       Nine language immersion rooms will feature Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mongolian, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese cultures and languages.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Performers of all ages will show their stuff Sunday as part of North Central College's International Festival. Proceeds will benefit the International Scholarship fund to support international students coming to North Central and North Central students who study abroad.

       Performers of all ages will show their stuff Sunday as part of North Central College's International Festival. Proceeds will benefit the International Scholarship fund to support international students coming to North Central and North Central students who study abroad.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • North Central College students will perform traditional Chinese lion, dragon and kung fu dances as part of the Naperville school's annual International Festival.

       North Central College students will perform traditional Chinese lion, dragon and kung fu dances as part of the Naperville school's annual International Festival.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • A flag ceremony will open North Central College's International Festival at noon Sunday, Feb. 9, at Merner Field House in Naperville. The annual celebration features international cuisine, language immersion rooms, multicultural performances and more.

       A flag ceremony will open North Central College's International Festival at noon Sunday, Feb. 9, at Merner Field House in Naperville. The annual celebration features international cuisine, language immersion rooms, multicultural performances and more.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
By Nancy Dunker
North Central College

North Central College's Office of International Programs will sponsor its 18th annual International Festival, a celebration of Naperville's cultural diversity, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in Gregory Arena at Merner Field House, 450 S. Brainard St., Naperville.

Educational exhibits, international cuisine, language immersion rooms, multicultural performances, raffle prizes, gifts and more are part of the celebration. Tickets are $6 at the door or $5 in advance by visiting the college's Office of International Programs, 48 E. Jefferson Ave. Raffle tickets may be purchased for $1 a ticket or $5 for six tickets.

All proceeds will benefit the International Scholarship fund to support international students coming to North Central and North Central students who study abroad.

Doors open at 11:45 a.m. for the international flag ceremony with North Central President Troy D. Hammond and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago will serve as honor guards.

A variety of international groups will perform throughout the day. They include the Nartan Indian Academy of Dance, World Performance Team, Weber School of Irish Dance, Sokol Naperville TYR, Mala Wisla Polish Folk Dancers, Knights of Lithuania dancers, Ray Chinese School dancers, Elite Marshall Arts, McNulty Irish Dancers, Glen Ellyn Aikido Club, Apollo Dance Troupe, The Pebbles Foundation step team and North Central College students and faculty as flamenco dancers. North Central students also will perform traditional Chinese lion, dragon and kung fu dances.

Children attending the festival will be given passports when they arrive. As they visit each interactive booth, they receive a stamp and can win a prize if they visit each one.

The community groups sponsoring the booths are AFS Greater Chicago, Cambridge-Green Planet, Chicago Passport Agency, Naperville Sister Cities Commission, DuPage Children's Museum, Elite Marshall Arts, Glen Ellyn Aikido Club, Language Stars-Naperville, the Rotary Club of Naperville, Silverado Naperville, Sokol Naperville TYRS, Ten Thousand Villages, WAR Chest Boutique, Xilin Asian Community Center, IMSA East European Cultural Club and Illinois Shaolin Kung Fu.

Several North Central College groups will have exhibits, too. They include the Chinese Club, Fusión Española, German Club, Japan Club, Enactus and Office of International Programs with its Friendship Families and English Language Institute programs.

A record nine language immersion rooms will feature Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mongolian, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese cultures and languages. Teachers, native speakers and students will lead each experience. Advance registration for the 30-minute language rooms is encouraged; call (630) 637-5132.

Food from an international menu will be prepared by Chef by Request and available for purchase. Canned food items also will be collected and given to Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry. Some 15 boxes of food were collected last year.

The 18th annual International Festival is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Naperville and Chef by Request. West Suburban Bank is donating popcorn and the popcorn machine.

This community event is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at (630) 637-SHOW.

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