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VGCC Celebrates Diversity At Cultural Fair

Diversity was the operative word during Vance-Granville Community College’s annual Cultural Fair Thursday.

Diversity of national exhibits. Diversity of entertainment. Diversity of food. Diversity of cultures.

The college has the Cultural Fair each year to highlight the many different cultures represented among the students, faculty and staff at VGCC. Including the United States, Vance-Granville has students enrolled from about 24 nations. These include neighbor nations like Mexico and Canada, and countries from Asia (China, Japan, Pakistan), Africa (Nigeria, Kenya), Europe (Germany, Ukraine), Central America (El Salvador, Haiti) and South America (Brazil, Peru).

Many of the students, along with instructors and staff, set up exhibits at the Cultural Fair to display clothing, literature and other items that helped describe their national culture. A wide variety of foods from around the globe were on hand for tasting, including Greek and Lebanese baklava, Chinese egg rolls, Mexican tacos and enchiladas, and old fashioned American pig’s feet.

Artists were also on hand demonstrating their talents in painting, jewelry and candle making and other crafts.

New displays this year included a booth representing Diversity Week, Feb. 21-15, which focused on disability awareness. An International Communications booth allowed VGCC students to contact, through computer, educational programs in ot her parts of the world. There also was a Global Environmental Awareness exhibit and a Free Trade Coffee booth.

While students and community visitors strolled through the exhibits and tasted the international foods, a wide variety of entertainment was being performed on the Civic Center state. This, too, was widely diverse, ranging from VGCC Daycare children singing cowboy songs to former VGCC student Cheryl Kornegay of Louisburg performing belly dancing. Sharon Carlson and Cliff Jackson from Warren picked and sang country songs, and VGCC staff member Lori Forsythe led a group of eager volunteers through a line dancing demonstration.

Cultural Fair attendees were rapt in their attention to a demonstration of Native American dancing by teen-age members of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe in Warren and Halifax counties.

The Vance-Granville Community College Cultural Awareness Committee organizes the annual Cultural Fair. Sue Grissom, the committee’s chairperson, was thrilled at attendance at the event and the diversity of exhibits and cultures at the fair. She said, “We are very happy so many people joined us to celebrate diversity in the world and right here on our own campus.”

In the first photo, a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal dancers performs for the crowd on Feb. 24 in the VGCC Civic Center.

Former student Cheryl Kornegay performs a classic Belly Dance.

In the third photo, colorfully attired in Nigerian garments, these ladies exhibited native artifacts at VGCC’s Cultural Fair on Feb. 24.