Window on the World festival returns to campus

Window on the World (WOW) is scheduled to begin with the “Middle East Now” symposium at 10:10 a.m. today followed by the festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the RUC.”You are getting to experience the world by coming to the festival,” WOW coordinator Melissa Creek said, “through the food, through the sound, through the performances. And we also have vendors who come, and they sell cultural items.”

Some of the vendors include Full Circle Art, Peruvian Artifacts. Mt. Everest (Nepal), International Dolls, Uganda Beads, and One Market World.

There will be several activities to participate in, including music and dance. The dancers will perform for 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute workshop. Some of the dance workshops include Uzbek, Didgeridoo and Island Fusion.

“There are different performers that try to pull in the audience,” Creek said, “and give you an opportunity to participate in that.”

Some of the performers include Four Leaf Peat, Chinese Lions and Trio Vendaval.

WOW has something for all ages, according to Creek.

“It’s great for families to come to,” Creek said, “because even if you have little ones, the parents are encouraged to do crafts with the children.”

Children’s crafts will be offered on the third floor to anyone at no charge. There will be 10 different cultural crafts from which to choose.

“Anyone of any age can come and learn about different cultures,” Creek said, “just by walking around and sitting and listening for a few minutes.”

Global Education Center in Nashville will be offering a free workshop for teachers in the area. Participants will receive professional development credit. The teacher workshops include “Why Not Make Something Up? A Creativity Workshop,” “West African Drum Traditions from the Great Mali Empire,” “South Indian Culture” and “Dance, and Appalachian Roots: Folk Songs, Ballads, and Singing a Capella.”

“Every part of WOW is going to educate you,” Creek said.

Food vendors from all over the world will be set up, including Bosnia, Colombia, Filipino, India Palace, Mexican, Nepal, Saudi Club, and South Indian.

“I would encourage people to actually go around and sample all the different foods and not just spend all their money at one booth,” Creek said.

Some other groups with food booths are German Club, French Club, Japanese Culture Society and Amigos Spanish Club.

Creek suggests attendees to bring $5-$7 for food.

“We do encourage all the vendors to have dollar items at least,” Creek said.

There will be several activities held on South Patio, including Earth Day, a jazz ensemble, a book sale and cricket.

“Earth Day, they’ll have lots of things going on with that to kind of promote and encourage people to take care of the Earth,” Creek said.

New to the festival is the TTU Amateur Radio Society. They will have a ham radio set up, so attendees can talk to other people in different parts of the world.

The International Business Society and Study Abroad have joined together to offer Skype, through which attendees can communicate with students whom are studying abroad.

“Most people come to WOW for the food and the entertainment and the children’s crafts,” Creek said. “Those are the top three things people want to see and participate in.”

Ada Haynes’ sociology class will have a cultural table set up with visa stamps. Attendees will get a passport they can get stamped for each country they visit.

According to Creek, there will be 62 flags hanging on the wall, each representing a country from which Tech has a student.

“There are 62 countries represented at Tennessee Tech,” Creek said. “That alone is enough reason why people should come out to get to know their neighbors, to understand and be part of the community.”

Creek said that it is important for us to celebrate cultural diversity and for us to understand what other cultures are about.

Taj Massood will be offering an art workshop throughout the day for attendees interested in making their own mandalas.

The Mandala Award will be received by Katie Kumar, previous WOW coordinator.

“She has faithfully served as a WOW coordinator for the past 11 years,” Creek said. “She has promoted cultural harmony and understanding through her many acts of service.”

Creek encourages everyone to attend WOW.

“Unless you’ve traveled or have lived somewhere else, or come to events like this,” Creek said, “you don’t really know that much about the rest of the world.”

All events are free and open to the public.

“It’s an international festival in your own backyard,” Creek said.

WOW is an international festival that celebrates cultural diversity and global harmony. It is sponsored by Center Stage and the Globalization Committee of the College of Business.

For schedules or any other information, call Creek at 931-520-8803, or visit orgs.tntech.edu/wow.