Travel the World in One Day


 Upon entering West Side, one only has to glance at the faces of the students around them to get a sense of the many cultures and backgrounds present in the school. With this kind of diversity, it comes as no surprise that many West Side students and their families are involved with Global Fest, West Lafayette’s annual celebration of cultures from around the world.  This year’s event took place on Saturday, September 3rd at the Morton Community Center.  Inside the building were performances, demonstrations, culture rooms, an international petting zoo, a shopping area, and several other activities.  Outdoors was a stage with that included performances throughout the entire day, and the international food bazaar with traditional cuisine from all over the world.  Many West Siders volunteered at the event, while others came just to enjoy.

Senior Melissa Freiser and her mother helped out at the Scandinavian booth, answering questions and showcasing traditional outfits and cultural items.  Melissa says, “It’s kind of fun to show off the blonde hair and the blue eyes.  My mom has a pretty strong accent, so people like to come hear that too”.

Allen Chen and Gabe Acosto recycle at Global Fest

Senior Gabe Acosto and juniors Allen Chen, Chris Shin, and Michael Crawford spent much of their Saturday volunteering for the West Lafayette Go Green Commission.  The boys braved the heat and stood near the international food bazaar, directing visitors to recycling bins.  While working, all four took the opportunity to sample some of the delicious food.

Senior Beau Westbrook and freshman Abbee Westbrook come to the Global Fest almost every year.  When asked why she enjoys returning year after year, Beau replied, “There’s always variety, and it’s amazing to see how many cultures we have in West Lafayette and Lafayette”.  She also enjoys the international petting zoo, the culture booths, and the food.  Her sister, Abbee, also likes “seeing cultures coming together”.  Above all, though, she says the food is the main reason for her annual return to Global Fest.

Freshman Nikita Prabhakar showcases her fencing skills.

Freshmen Nikita Prabhakar and Sara Johnson have been taking fencing classes at Morton since the sixth grade.  This year, they showcased their skills periodically during the day in one of the culture rooms.  When not participating in a demonstration, the girls enjoyed taking in the rest of the festival.  Nikita cited the pottery room as one of her favorite places to visit, while Sara liked the Japanese tea ceremony.  Freshman Rhea Mahajan came out to watch her friends in the fencing demonstration, but also liked the international shopping bazaar and all of the different cultural performances.  When asked about the best part of Global Fest, all three girls replied instantly and in unison, “the food”.

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