On June 19, 2014, the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) at University of the Pacific welcomed attendees to the Fourth Annual Pacific Without Borders International Night. Sponsored by the Flowers Heritage Foundation and attended by Pacific luminaries, the event was educational and entertaining.
Dinner and the showcase of countries, which allowed guests the chance to explore the cultural exhibits, were first on the agenda. Walking the floor of the event allowed attendees an opportunity to sample cuisine and learn about countries ranging from the African, Asian, and European to the American continents. Posters and attendants dressed in the appropriate cultural outfits were on hand to discuss the fine points of each country represented.
A night of multi-cultural appreciation and outreach, the event continued with a rousing introduction on culture and understanding by keynote speaker and Pacific Vice President of Student Life, Patrick Day, who was introduced by the Director of the Multicultural Center, Sergio Acevedo. A lively fashion show followed, and it was a treat not just to the inquisitive mind but to the eye. Colorful ensembles including robes, skirts, gowns, and headdresses were shown. The full list of country exhibits included Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Ghana, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Guam, Caribbean, China, Italy, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The wide range of styles and cultures were beautifully showcased.
Following the crowd-pleasing fashion showcase were the cultural dance performances which certainly is a favorite at such events. Music and dance performances from groups representing China, Mexico, and everywhere in between took the stage to turn up the volume and show their pride. It was hard for attendees not to nod their heads and tap their feet to the beat of each act. Performers displayed choreographed steps in groups, duos and solos, dancing their unique dances in traditional outfits to traditional beats.
The Fraternity Cook-off Competition followed, and a hot culinary competition commenced. Judges for this event included Dr. Katerina Venderova, Dr. Ed Rogan, Dr. Myo-Kyoung Kim and Dr. Mamoun Alhamadsheh. A twist on the competition was that each fraternity had to incorporate the secret ingredients, mango and sweet potatoes, into their main dish. When the dust had settled and all dishes had been sampled, the Rho Pi Phi fraternity came out on top, though it was a close contest with a good showing for the field. The night concluded with raffles, and once prizes were awarded it was time for all to depart.
The Pacific Without Borders Planning Committee worked diligently to put this cultural event together. All the proceeds went to support a local charity, Gleason Clinic. The evening had the fine showing the event is known for and the committee looks forward to the fifth annual event as they continue this fine tradition into 2015 and beyond!
By Mihret Argaw '16