The International Student Cultural Organization (ISCO) and Center for International Programs at Troy University collaborated to organize “Mardi Gras at ISCO” on Thursday, Feb. 8.
The goal of the event was to bring people of all cultures together and celebrate Mardi Gras.
Caroline Hughes, a junior English major from Decatur and the president of ISCO, said the festival was mostly organized to spread awareness among international students about Mardi Gras.
“It allows us to give a chance for people to befriend each other who wouldn’t normally have that chance in day-to-day happenings,”Hughes said.
“I didn’t know about Mardi Gras carnival before, and I learned a lot by coming here tonight,” said Shijia Zhang, a sophomore computer science major from Liaoning, China.
It was the first celebration of Mardi Gras organized by the International programs.
“Our main purpose was to have a celebration of the culture that’s deep in the south and in the U.S. and turn it into an international event where different other cultures are celebrated,” said Jamie Sessions, a history lecturer and international student adviser. “We collaborated with ISCO because they have a huge reach and could bring in a lot of people together.”
The event was held at Hal Hall and included activities like cake decoration, Mardi Gras games, food, music, photo booth and a short presentation about Mardi Gras and its history.
Students were given colorful bead necklaces as they arrived, and the program started with the informative presentation regarding Mardi Gras by Sessions. It was followed by an game of “pass the beads” while the festive Mardi Gras music played in the background.
ISCO hosts events every week where international students and American students come together to learn about different cultures.