The Norman Transcript

August 25, 2013

Free experience showcases international culture at OU

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — An international shopping and cultural experience will transform the University of Oklahoma’s South Oval from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 2.

The International Advisory Committee, the umbrella group for international student organizations at the University of Oklahoma, hosts the 14th annual International Bazaar: Sooners of the World.

The event is free and open for OU and Oklahoma communities, including families.

“The International Bazaar is the biggest cultural event at OU in the fall semester,” said Cassi Toney, the International Advisory Committee president. “The bazaar offers OU students and the Oklahoma community the chance to encounter the rich international diversity within OU’s student body.”

Each of the 22 international student organizations at OU has a booth to sell handmade toys, clothing, jewelry and accessories from their countries, talk about their culture and serve their national snacks.

There will also be cultural performances, music and activities for children, including a cultural scavenger hunt to explore the booths.

The booths include India, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Colombia and many other international student organizations.

“I always love seeing college students and children interact with people from the different countries,” OU senior Toney said. “The international students delight in showing their cultures and products from their countries to the children.”

Skye Tylich, the vice-president external for the committee, said the International Bazaar is like stepping into another world right on OU's campus.

“In one space you can travel to India and buy bangles, travel to Korea and have your name written in beautiful calligraphy, get Middle Eastern henna designs on your hand, and watch performances from South America,” OU senior Tylich said.

Amy Lantrip, public affairs chair for the committee, said she is most looking forward to the cultural performances. Last year there were performances from Nepal, Africa, the Caribbean Islands, Korea and India.

“My favorite aspect of the bazaar is that there are so many things to do, so you are never bored,” OU sophomore Lantrip said.

Lantrip said she always loves the Vietnamese students’ booth because it is full of delicate, beautiful items from Vietnam.

“I love all of the booths,” said Hillary Medina, the sub-committee chair of the International Advisory Committee.

Medina said the event’s theme is “Sooners of the World” because it showcases all of OU’s international diversity in its student body.

“Although we may be from different places, speak different first languages and have different cultures, we can all unite under the banner of OU and our love for Oklahoma,” Medina said.

Visitors to the bazaar can park at the north side of the Lloyd Noble Center parking lot and take the free shuttle to campus at 10-minute intervals.

The Education Abroad and International Student Services at OU will also have booths handing out information to students.

The International Advisory Committee is an executive student organization at the University of Oklahoma that represents international students and coordinates the efforts of 22 international student organizations.

IAC integrates, advocates and celebrates the 2,000 international students on campus. During the year, IAC works with various student organizations to host events such as International Bazaar, Winter Ball, International Prom and, most importantly, the 43rd annual Eve of Nations in the spring.