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International Festival Delights Crowds at Mississippi College

Mississippi College's 2018 International Festival at Swor Auditorium

Mississippi College students from three nations performed a Bollywood dance that was a hit at the university’s International Festival.

India’s Dinisha Paul and Harmanpreet Kaur, both mental health counseling graduate students, combined their talents with nursing major Jiyoung Chun of South Korea. Accounting student Abigail Finley of Port Gibson, Mississippi joined in.

The dance was among many dazzling performances on stage at Swor Auditorium on the evening of March 2.

The MC Office of Global Education- sponsored production seems to get better with each passing year.

Both international and American students joined forces to make it a wonderful show on the Clinton campus once again. Some students are gifted performers or stars in the fashion show. Others work quietly behind the scenes.

“They sell tickets, work as backstage managers, move props and other equipment,” says Phala Echols, international program coordinator at the Office of Global Education. The volunteers run the music and video, operate the spotlights and handle other tasks.

“More than any other event that the Office of Global Education sponsors each year, the International Festival is a team effort,” says Echols, the show’s director.

There was so much to enjoy at the 2018 International Festival.

Anna Ngum Ghany and her two sons, Daniel, 6, and Samuel, 4, represented Cameroon at the fashion show. A graduate student in English education, Anna wore an Ankara made of cotton. Her sons were outfitted in Ankara Akwada attire also made of cotton material. Back by popular demand, it marked the family’s second fashion show appearance at Mississippi College.

Other memorable performances that Friday evening included International Festival musician Lingyun “Bruce” Ma. An MBA student from China, Ma played Chopin’s Etude Opera 10 No. 3 in E Major. He’s played the piano since the age of 4.

Other performers generating applause included Russia’s Anais Eliseeva reciting the poem “I Still Recall the Wondrous Moment” by Alexander Pushkin. Taiwan’s Yao-Chun Chiang sang “Good Night Formosa.”

An outstanding cast is key to the program’s success. Mei-Chi Piletz, director of the Office of Global Education, also salutes the festival’s entire list of volunteers. It takes staff from the Office of Global Education and Intensive English Program along with students from the USA and other nations to achieve great results.

They work splendidly together “with a common goal – to promote mutual understanding,” Piletz says. Proceeds from the show boost international student scholarships at MC.

Members of the audience each year include President Lee Royce, and his wife, Rhoda. Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard is another big fan of the International Festival.

The festival “points to how important it is for American students at MC to get to know and interact with students from other cultures and faiths,” Howard said. “We learn that we have much in common with other people from around the world.”