Drum beats & flags kick-off Worldfest
By Melissa Rodriguez
The sound of drum beats echoed the halls of UW-Parkside's Main Concourse as a young group of African dancers performed at the Flag Ceremony to begin the Worldfest celebration Monday, March 11. Around 40 volunteers carried flags from the Student Center Bridge to Main Place following the dance members and drummers, a group known as the Nefertari African Dance group.
They finished their dance just after the parade down the concourse as audience members created a half circle around the stage set up in Main Place. Patrick Wong, PIC president, thanked students and staff for attending the ceremony and then introduced Lorene Bakkila who performed the United States national anthem.
After the anthem, flag carriers one-by-one stepped up to the stage to introduce themselves and the flag they were carrying.
"Thank you, everyone, for sharing your country's flag with us," Wong said prior to the presentation of flags, "part of our success at UW-Parkside is [the] diversity and harmony that we try to attain."
He was followed by UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford who expressed her gratitude to the drummers of the African dance group and emphasized the importance of international relations as she called UW-Parkside "our global village."
"Worldfest reminds us that although we come from many different places we have gathered here at our university, UW-Parkside, for one purpose. And that purpose is to learn," said Chancellor Ford.The ceremony closed with more dancing from the Nefertari African Dance group. But that was far from the conclusion of Worldfest events. Many programs, lectures, and movies are being held this week. A complete list is available through the UW-Parkside web site.