Culture is something that is difficult to describe and can vary
depending on who you ask. It could be a practice, a belief
system, food, or a place of origin. The University of Denver’s
Culture Fest (formerly known as Festival of Nations) is an
annual event that celebrates the student body’s diverse
backgrounds, customs, and traditional dishes. Students
attending Culture Fest were invited to define what culture
means to them on posters in Driscoll Bridge.
Culture Fest 2015 was held in the Driscoll
Ballroom. Students were immediately greeted
with student organizations, associations, and
alliances as they navigated their way to the
ballroom where a majority of the festivities
and performances were located.
Students goof off in a ball pit with questions written on
beach balls meant to evoke discussion about breaking
down cultural barriers and challenging misconceptions.
The Kuwait table on Driscoll Bridge
featured some traditional foods
that were available to sample.
In Driscoll Ballroom, Culture Fest attendees were able to
walk up to various cultural displays or student
organizations and take part in interactive activities in
order to learn more about a culture or on-campus
The South Asian Student Association (SASA)
adorned their station with a handmade
poster of their members’ handprints.
The Chinese student table offered free
traditional candy and sweets, wrote
attendee names in Chinese characters,
and drew colorful masks as souvenirs.
One of the cultural artifacts at the Saudi
Arabian table was an open-faced house
that sat among a miniature woven basket,
jewelry, and baked goods.
Attendees who visited the Saudi
Arabian booth were invited to try
on traditional garments and
jewelry typically reserved for
special occasions, such as holidays.
Wireless headphones played music
from different cultures from around
the world that attendees were asked
to correctly guess the origin of for a
prize. Participants were also quizzed
about other nation’s capitals,
geography, and cultural facts.
Students of both native and foreign origin gather in the
Driscoll Ballroom, hopping from nation (station) to
nation (station) in between performances put on by
communities at DU and the greater Denver area.
The Kuwaiti students' sense of pride is
almost palpable as they pose with
their country’s clothing, flag, food, and
decorations for a photo op.
Local dance company Bella Diva Dance performed at
Culture Fest. According to Nps.gov, belly dancing originates
from the Middle East, Mediterranean, and northeastern
African areas, with sources believing that the pyramid
builders in ancient Egypt were belly dancers.
Students captured Culture Fest
memories with old school
polaroid pictures and strung
them from a support beam
inside Driscoll Bridge. Whether
it’s with a picture, clothing,
food, or music, culture is
something that is prevalent in
our everyday lives (whether we
realize it or not). Culture Fest
successfully united the DU
community in learning about
the other cultures that are a
part of the University of Denver.
Culture comes in many shapes
and forms and is something that
should be celebrated not just
one day, but every day.