UMF celebrates cultures with ‘Discover the World’ events

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FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington Office of International Programs recently held the first in a series of five “Discover the World” events for 2014-15, celebrating the food, music and cultural activities of countries.

The series was developed by Lynne Eustis, UMF assistant director of international programs, to help UMF students, staff and faculty from other countries share their native cultures with the campus and local community.

“With opportunities for learning, understanding and collaboration, these events bring a richness to the community and offer a way for our international students, scholars and staff to share and celebrate their cultures and traditions,” Eustis said.

This first international event celebrated the culture of Asia with over 75 members of the campus and general public participating. Exchange students, visiting professors and members of the UMF community offered instruction on writing Chinese calligraphy with traditional brush and ink, the art of Chinese painting, the popular Eastern and Southeast Asian game of mahjong and origami, the intricate Japanese art of paper folding.

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A menu of traditional Asian cuisine was developed and prepared by students and scholars. Included were Chinese steamed dumplings, okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake, and Japanese chirashi sushi salad.

Tea, an important element in many Asian cultures, was celebrated with a demonstration by Yuxiao Li, an exchange student from Beijing. Hui Liu, a visiting professor of Chinese, wore traditional clothing as he led participants in Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese skill of meditation in motion.

The Discover the World series is free and open to the public and will continue with the following events:

* Wednesday, Nov. 5, Discover the World: Latin America, 4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

* Wednesday, Dec. 10, Discover the World: France, 4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

* Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, Discover the World: Chinese New Year, 3:30 p.m., North Dining Hall B & C, UMF Olsen Student Center

* Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Discover the World: Africa, 4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

For more information, please visit the UMF Events Calendar at www.umf.maine.edu.

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