Mini-World Showcase to offer fun, culture

By Jen Bland

This year’s Mini-World Showcase promises to be a huge event.

“This year we expect about 4,000 people,” said Mini-World Showcase Coordinator Amy Fortin. “If it gets any bigger, we’ll be in trouble.”

The showcase is a celebration of International Education Week, Fortin said.

This year represents the 7th annual presentation of such a showcase and there will be 28 booths representing many different countries and international organizations, such as Amnesty International.

Each booth will display native dress and have samples of food traditionally associated with that country.

In addition to the booths, there will be Scottish country dances every hour, American Indians will perform a one-hour dance and Danca Quente will be performed. There also will be slide presentations by representatives of China and Greece, a foreign language monopoly game and Chris Lee Thompson of the Campus Lutheran Ministry will tell Eastern European folk tales

The Mini-World Showcase also offers Immersion rooms where a group of up to 30 students can read magazines or newspapers in different languages for 30 minutes. They also can participate in a talk circle or work on the computers.

An event particularly aimed at students from kindergarten to sixth-grade is the Crayola Dreammakers #5, said Dr. Carolyn Altrutc, co-chairman of Crayola Dreammakers of NIU exhibitor site.

This year’s theme is time travel. Students make drawings they can then send to the Crayola Company in hopes of receiving an award.

Participants also can go on tours of the Anthropology Museum and the Southeast Asian Center.

Fortin said in order to promote the event, organizers sent fliers to every school in Cook, DuPage, Kane, DeKalb, Ogle, Leland, Will counties and some in Lake County.

Students from kindergarten to 12th grade and on-campus students, staff or faculty are welcome to attend.

However, the showcase is not all fun and games. Participants also are required to fill out a question sheet that requires them to visit a country from each of the continents represented.

“When I was in school, teachers could just take you on a field trip for the heck of it,” said Fortin. “Now, due to budget cuts, teachers have to present a valid educational reason for going, so we require students to fill out these sheets.”

The Mini-World Showcase will be held on Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations in the Holmes Student Center.