On October 19th, I attended Global Faire. Going into it, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard a little from my upperclassmen friends, but all that amounted to was that there would be food and that the theme for a previous Global Faire was France.
Before I even stepped into the courtyard, I heard music. I suppose I wasn’t far away, standing right outside the French classroom, but the sound of music was still surprising. As I rushed towards the sound, I could smell food. Right by the main office, empeñadas, flan, chips, and salsa were being handed out. Exciting, I love food!
I squeezed through the crowd around the table and was rewarded with a plate of empanadas, chips, and salsa. I had never eaten an empanada before, but I can now say that I love them! The outside was crisp and the inside was full of warm meat. I have, in fact, had chips and salsa before. Still, they lived up to my high standards. The salsa was fresh and the chips were crunchy – okay, so I guess they lived up to everyone’s standards for chips and salsa. To finish off my mini-meal, I tried a horchata and an agua fresca, both of which were refreshingly sweet. They were so good that I wished the cups were larger!
Beyond food, many clubs set up informational booths that related the topic of their club back to Central America and the Caribbean. The CATfood booth provided information about the Aztecs and chocolate. Before you could take a piece of chocolate, you had to share a fact that you had learned from reading their poster (a clever move to shift focus away from just sweets). Another booth presented Guatemalan worry dolls, accompanied by a Kahoot game to test your knowledge on the traditional figures. I lost the Kahoot game by a painfully large margin and was not able to receive the coveted prize of – you guessed it – a worry doll.
Although you might guess I liked the food the best, my favorite aspect of Global Faire was actually the dancing and music. Am I biased musician? Probably, but that’s beside the point. Having a live band playing while you walk around eating and learning really adds to the ambience. For a while, I watched people dance. I watched them try simple salsa steps and have a great time. I am, admittedly, a terrible dancer, but on Friday, I decided to risk the embarrassment and I stepped out onto the section of the courtyard designated the dance floor. Surprise, surprise – it was fun! I stepped on my partner’s toes several times, but I loved moving to the music. After I decided to take a quick break, I observed the dancers from the library steps. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves; I saw people teach newcomers the steps and others joining hands in big dancing circles. As a musician, I loved hearing a style of music I hadn’t heard before; it was similar to the classical music I’d studied, but at the same time completely different. Unlike classical music, the music felt more free, devoid of the many rules that come with classical playing. Still, I could recognize many harmonies that are also used in the music I play, as well as similar rhythmic patterns. Watching people express themselves without the fear of embarrassment was an absolute joy.
All in all, I really enjoyed my first Global Faire. I’m very excited to see what’s in store for the years to come!