The Ithaca College International Club will host the college’s first InterFashional Show, which will showcase traditional costumes from about 15 countries.
The fashion show will be followed by a dinner dance and will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in Emerson Suites. Countries featured will include Austria, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Junior Chau Nguyen, president of the International Club, said the event will provide the campus community with a rare opportunity.
“Every day when you see [international students] pass by, you talk to them but you don’t really know the cultural identity of the person,” Nguyen said. “We think this is just the perfect opportunity for everyone who is interested in culture, traveling and just getting to know about the international student community at the college.”
The show will be hosted by junior Cody Garrett and sophomore Rachel Gray, who will pose as travelers journeying the world to discover cultures.
The event will also include performances from the college’s acoustic group The Soviet Babies and freshman violinist Aiden Chan.
Organizers said they hope to make the InterFashional Show an annual event, similar to the club’s One World Concert. The One World Concert featured performances by international and American students from the college and Cornell University.
Garrett said he is a fan of the International Club and is honored to be one of the hosts of the InterFashional Show.
“I think this experience will help me develop as a person because not only will I get the opportunity to work with the International Club directly, but it will also allow me to be a part of an amazing event that is educational and also fun,” Garrett said. “I am glad I can be a part of that, and I am glad that I can take away from it as well.”
There are currently 160 international students from 74 countries enrolled in the college, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Sophomore Giulia Dwight, event manager of the International Club, said she believes there is a lack of diversity on campus.
“I think us as international students need to promote diversity and international cultures as much as we can because the campus is lacking,” Dwight said.
Garrett said he believes diversity is not only about race or ethnicity.
“I view diversity as more of a cultural thing, and I think Ithaca College is very diverse,” Garrett said. “There are many different people here coming from many, many different backgrounds.”
Sophomore Khwaja Jawad is an international student from Bangladesh. He will be a model at Saturday’s show, where he will be wearing a Punjabi, a traditional South Asian costume consisting of pants and a long shirt, known as a kurta.
Jawad said most of the people he has met during his time at the college have been curious about his culture and country.
“Some people are really interested and want to experience that part of the world,” Jawad said. “Sitting down with them, I can go on talking for hours and hours, and they would just stare at me.”
The InterFashional show will seek to promote awareness of different cultures represented on the college campus. Diana Dimitrova, director of international student services at the Office of International Programs, said it is important for students to explore different cultures.
She said she hopes the InterFashional show will create dialogue about such issues.
“If a conversation can start or an interest can spark from something like this, I think the club would be very successful,” Dimitrova said.