Groups join for food and culture

Portland State University will host the 25th anniversary of International Night tonight in Smith Center Ballroom from 6 to 10 p.m. It will be an evening filled with cultural sharing, entertainment and food.

“This is the main, biggest international event,” said Magnus Nilsson, co-coordinator for the event. “It’s going to be a bunch of fun.”

This year’s theme is “United Nations of PSU.” The organization chose this theme because it correlates with the international peace conference, which the university will host in May. Last year’s theme was “Passport to the World.”The event management met earlier this week to discuss and finalize the preparation for tonight’s celebration.

Nilsson said there will be approximately 20 tables set up, each containing information about a particular country. PSU international students will represent their country by sharing their culture and country’s information with the attendees, in addition to answering any questions or concerns.

As attendees engage in cultural sharing, they may sample international cuisine at the same time. There will be mostly finger food, including Mexican, Japanese, French and Vietnamese foods, Nilsson said.

There will be a flag presentation and many dance performances, including a lion dance by the Vietnamese Buddhist Youth Group, a fashion show with traditional clothing, an Indian dance, a belly dance, a Brazilian dance, and much more.

Last year there were between 500 to 600 attendees. Nilsson said so far the same amount of tickets are sold and the group expects to meet last year’s attendance record or exceed it.

The cost of the food is included with the admission fees. If purchased before the event, the ticket prices are $2 for students and $3 for the general public. At the door, it will cost $4 for students and $5 for the public and children under 12 are free.

According to Yukiko Shindo, co-coordinator of the Organization of International Students, the profit made from ticket sales will cover the event expenses and anything extra will go to the organization.

“However, we spend a decent amount of money for International Night, and what we get from ticket sales is very little,” Shindo said.

Shindo added that Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) also sponsored a part of the event this year, as well as the Student Development Office and the International Education Service Office.

“I would like to thank every person who helped plan this event, also want to thank everyone who spent their time for helping the International Night to happen,” Shindo said.

Tickets can be purchased at East Hall, room 212 or Smith Center, 443. For more info, call (503) 725-5667.