More Than A Feast

The theme for this year’s Feast of Nations is “Our Journey.”

Inclusivity, diversity, culture, and passion are all of the qualities that make up what it means to be a part of UMD’s International Club.

Club President Andrea Molano says, “I was able to get a sense for what it meant to spread culture in the community. As we get more international students on campus, it’s important to create a sense of community so they can feel connected. The unique qualities in the event and the students that get involved are what makes Feast of Nations so successful. That’s probably why this event has been going on for over 50 years now.” 

The theme for this year’s Feast of Nations is “Our Journey.” Feast of Nations will be held Saturday, February 22, in Kirby Ballroom. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner starts at 6 p.m. After dinner, the festivities continue in the Marshall Performing Arts Center with performances done by students. 

Andrea, a double major in international studies and Chinese area studies, came up with the theme when cleaning out the Multicultural Center for renovations. When she came across old photos and VHS tapes that dated back to when the event first started, she wanted to incorporate that into a theme to represent how long Feast of Nations has been a part of UMD. 

For her, it’s also important to “incorporate the journey of the members of the Club.” She says, “It’s crazy that we can have one member from Russia and another from Madagascar in the same club together.” Becoming a part of the International Club was unplanned for Andrea. “I was part of Latinx/Chicanx Student Association my freshman year. I loved it there, but I always wanted to explore different cultures from my own and went to Feast of Nations that year. I then fell in love with it and wanted to be a part of it, so the next year, I ran to be secretary for the International Club and got the position.”

Andrea works with a team of seven members to make Feast of Nations happen. The board is made up of the club president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, event coordinator, media specialist, and public relations.

These positions are divided up, “based on passions and strengths that we each bring to the planning of the event,” says Andrea. As club president, Andrea is involved in making sure deadlines are being met and that everyone is organized and on track with their positions. 

At the Feast of Nations, every year brings something new. She mentions, “An attendee should come to Feast of Nations, expect great food and exciting performances from talented students. Every year we try to bring in a professional performer, so you really don’t know what’s going to happen until you sit in that chair for the event.” 

The fashion show, followed by performances in the Marshall Performing Arts Center (MPAC), are a highlight of the night. To be involved in the fashion show, students can sign up to showcase an outfit or accessory the day of the event. Auditions for this year’s event were held at MPAC. The club tries to include as many students as possible.

UMD Catering is a big part of why this event is so successful. Andrea explains that, “Expectations are always going to be higher for circumstances like this. It’s difficult to get the taste right when cooking food from different cultures.” The club works with UMD Catering to create dishes that are true to how they authentically taste. Once the dishes are created, the board members do a tasting to make suggestions or approve the final result. 

To be a part of the International Club on campus and help with Feast of Nations, email [email protected] for more information. The club meets every other week, talks about current global news, and plans socials with other clubs in the Multicultural Center.

To attend this year’s Feast of Nations, you can purchase tickets when the club is tabling outside Kirby Bookstore or get tickets at the door. For students, tickets are $10.00, and for the public, tickets are $15.00.

Members of UMD's International Club sitting in the Multicultural Center

Members of UMD's International Club meet in the Multicultural Center (from left to right): Karla Garcia, Club President Andrea Molano, Mya Corbin, Zaid Semmami, Lai Xin Stoewer, Club Treasurer Fawad Khan, Club Vice President Sebastian Cordero, and Maria Paula  Ordoñez.