International Night Takes Whatcom

by Gary Smith

Horizon Reporter

Scavenger hunts, bi-lingual poetry readings,and a talk about higher education in China were all part of Whatcom Community College’s International Week.

            The events, which were put on by the different international language classes and clubs from around campus, were demonstrations of the different aspects of the languages and cultures from various countries around the world.

             Other events included,talks about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, with a photo “safari” learning about the culture in Nepal, which sits right below the Himalayas; and an international flag scavenger hunt, where students scoured the campus over a three day period, looking for flags from various countries. The students took a picture of the flag and submitted it to the International Friendship Club’s Facebook page with the name of the flag’s country. Dawna Use, the international club vice president, said the reason for the use of technology in the event was that, “we thought that it would reduce our carbon foot print,” she said.

            The week was capped off with International Night, which is an event where students from all over the world showcased their country’s culture.

            Another interesting event was the international poetry reading. The event included readings from each of  the international language teachers and two other faculty members. The international teachers selected poems from the various languages they teach, like Spanish or German.

            Each teacher selected anywhere from two to five poems from famous poets hailing from their country, like Pablo Neruda and Minamoto-No-Muneyuki Ason.

            The poems were read in their native language first, then a translated version was read.

 “The point of the experience is to give people a change to hear their favorite poems in the original language,” said Ben Kohn, who read poems in German.

            Kohn hoped that the event would attract new students to the international languages class, or at least he hoped that students enjoyed it.

            The admission was free and there was even a packet of the poems passed out after the event. “We didn’t want students to follow along, because it wasn’t about analyzing or interpreting the poems,” Kohn said. It was about, “wanting the students to get a sense of the beauty of the languages taught here.”


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