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ISSUE 120 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/17/2006

Africa Week begins

By Jean Mullins
Executive Editor

Friday, November 17, 2006

For the first time, Karibu and the Diversity Celebrations Committee are sponsoring Africa Week from Monday until Sunday. The theme this year is "Africa’s Riches," which organizers hope will take the focus away from the negative facts people hear about Africa and refocus on the positive aspects.

"We want to show people that’s not all there is," said Nardos Tesfalidet ‘09, co-chair of Karibu.

Co-chair of Karibu Bibiche Botembe ’09 agreed the week would be "more educational," giving info about the differences in culture between groups in Africa and making sure Africa is not classified as one country and one cultural group.

The week began on Monday with an African dance performance in the Crossroads of Buntrock Commons. Dancers were St. Olaf students Eyita Gaga ‘07, Bryanna Bellard ‘07 and Claire Mpagazihe ‘07.

Tuesday, students displayed African artisan’s wares in Crossroads. Later that evening, students held a panel discussion, "Education, lifestyle in Africa, and culture shock," about cultural differences, in particular educational differences, between the United States and Africa. Organizers hope that this will not only highlight cultural differences between the United States and Africa, but also the differences between the different parts of Africa from which participants come.

On Wednesday during Chapel, the St. Olaf Gospel Choir, under the direction of Jack Yates, performed several African songs.

Thursday Professor Tamrat Tademe from the department of human relations and multicultural education at St. Cloud University will speak on some cultural aspects of Africa. There was also a World Issues Dialogue discussing whether non-Africans should be able to adopt African children.

Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Karibu will host a dance in the Pause. DJ Struggles will play a variety of music, including hip hop, dance hall, reggae, reggaeton and African music.

On Saturday at 4 p.m. Karibu will host a movie at the Diversity Awareness House about cultural differences between Africans and Americans.

Finally, the week will close with a banquet in the Black and Gold Ballroom from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The banquet will include a fashion show of many different traditional African clothes from all over Africa. Ladeisha Bhide ‘09 and Sarah Jacobson ‘10 will perform several African songs. All the African food served will be made by Bon Appétit.

Karibu members have also decorated the hall from Buntrock to Rolvaag Memorial Library to give passersby a better idea of the diversity in Africa.

Tesfalidet hopes the week will raise awareness abut Africa. "I have hopes that everyone will learn something new about Africa," she said.

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