Selestine Achieng, president of the University of West Georgia’s International Student Club, is helping to organize and promote the 26th annual International Night, a celebration of campus-wide diversity and cultural entertainment.
The annual event, on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Food Services Building (Z-6), will represent culture from over 40 countries, and is planned almost a year in advance. Students have practiced dances, skits and cultural presentations and will cook meals that represent the history of their respective countries.
“We have over thirty countries cooking,” said Achieng. “The other countries will participate in the entertainment. I know there will probably be a lot of rice dishes, and India will make spicy food. Samba Loca is also donating some food, so there will be a taste of Brazil there.”
For the celebration, she said that she will prepare a traditional Kenyan dish, Ugali, a cornmeal-based dish sometimes made with vegetables or meat.
Achieng said that the community will be invited to sample the international cuisine, and then participants will be treated to entertainment.
“After eating, there will be dances, poems – a talent show,” she said. “Last year, I did an African dance, and it’s really fun. It opens people up and gives us a chance to get to know people better.”
Achieng arrived at UWG in 2007. She said that she did not have a difficult time adjusting to life in the United States.
“Back home, we live at home until eighth grade, and then we go to boarding school, so you are already prepared to go away from home and your parents,” she said. “We see our parents maybe once or twice a year."
Achieng, a biology major with a minor in English, will be graduating this July. She said that after graduation she ultimately wants to become a pediatrician.
“I love working with kids,” she said. “I think it may be because I’m an only child, so that need to be around kids is important. They are so small and need nurturing.”
The International Student Club will be selling tickets for International Night on Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 in front of the UCC, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are also available for purchase in Row Hall, Room 229, or from an International Club member.
Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for children under 12 and $8 for the community.