The International Fiesta is an annual event on the Drill Field every spring semester at Mississippi State University. This event celebrates various cultures from around the world, bringing in many different booths and arranging them onto the Drill Field.

While these booths and the crowds of people bunched into a tight space may be overwhelming at first, it develops into an interesting and entertaining experience. Walking through the Drill Field during the Fiesta feels similar to walking through Epcot at Disney World. The amount of culture represented there at once was an impressive experience of diversity.

"The fiesta was a festival where different cultures came together to share their culture with others and celebrate diversity," said Mary Banks Hickman, a sophomore student who spent time at the Fiesta.

The fiesta shares many different parts of cultures, including dancing, food and general information about the countries.

Food was sold at most of the booths, each different food item was somewhere around $1 to $5. I took advantage of this opportunity and bought many various types of desserts to try.

My favorite of the dessert dishes I tried was Russian pryaniki, which cost $1 for two pieces. It looked similar to donut holes, but it tasted like a delicious mixture of coffee, gingerbread and sugar. It was amazing, and I will search for this treat as long as I live.

I also bought and tried a mix-matched bag of German chocolate candy for $5, as German chocolate is well known for being tasty. This was also worth buying, but the pyraniki treats tasted more distinct.

The one non-dessert food I tried was the rice pudding from the Iranian table, because it looked absolutely delicious.

Walking around and trying different desserts from various countries was the most exciting part. Because I am the kind of person who goes to a restaurant and orders the same thing every time, the International Fiesta was an opportunity to expand my palate, and it made me want to travel to these countries and try the same foods again.

Not only were the foods unique and interesting, but the booths also had other things to offer as well. There were booths with jewelry, each piece beautiful and tempting to buy. Other various items seemingly homemade were displayed for sale, to represent individual countries.

"The thing that stood out to me, was the different performances that were going on where different groups would present dances or art forms from their culture," Hickman said. "I specifically remember an Indian group dancing, which was really interesting."

On the main stage, everything from cultural dances to line dances to country music was performed. This, paired with the booths, really brought the cultural experience to a whole new level.

The International Fiesta is an event important to MSU’s campus for one main reason.

"(It not only allows students to) celebrate our differences and backgrounds, but also to have unity and harmony and respect for so many different groups and people with different lifestyles,” Hickman said. 

Because the Fiesta is focused on bringing people with various backgrounds into one event to celebrate these differences, it is an event every campus needs. It helps students to not only appreciate, but to celebrate diversity on the MSU campus and in the Starkville area at large.

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