International Carnevale marks 10th year

By Alex Pauline

In a year when controversy over Breaking Bread dialogues for women of color brought diversity issues to the surface at Northeastern, the award-winning International Carnevale will be showcasing the positive side of diversity on campus this month.

The International Student and Scholar Institute’s (ISSI) 10th annual International Carnevale, which began Feb. 1 and will continue through March 31, includes 40 events, the most in its history. The Carnevale began 10 years ago with just two or three events and has grown ever since, said Scott Quint, Carnevale chair and ISSI director.

Quint said the event is particularly poignant now, since Northeastern has struggled with diversity issues this year.

“It really is an effort from the heart,” Quint said. “It’s something that we want to do, but also something that needs to be done.”

The biggest event will be the Gala, scheduled for March 19. The two and a half-hour extravaganza showcases students and student groups performing songs and dances from a variety of cultures.

In addition to coordinating arts and entertainment events, the Carnevale will include more charity work and outreach programs on an international scale this year, Quint said.

Quint added the Carnevale is special because it features a spectrum of events depicting different life experiences.

“The most affirming thing about this event is that people can share their own culture, and learn about the culture of others as well,” Quint said.

Nitish Gupta, a computer systems graduate student from India, said learning about other cultures is the best part.

“I now know so much more about other cultures. I love that through working I get to hear and learn so much more about other people’s backgrounds,” he said.

Gupta said the diverse nature of the event has gotten attention from outside the university as well.

“We have won national and international awards, and our ISSI Carnevale is the most comprehensive international student event in the country,” he said.

The Carnevale has received praise from the Association of International Educators, and organizers have been contacted by universities overseas that want to get involved with the event, Quint said.

Members of the community are also pitching in. A pianist from Boston, a speaker from Zambia and Botswanan Ambassador Lapologang Caesar Lekoa will all be part of this year’s festivities and will add their own specialties to the event.

For senior graphic design major Vanessa Viara of Honduras, watching a collaborative effort come together is the best reward.

“It is amazing to see hard work come together,” Viara said. “It is inspiring.”

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