International Students Strut Their Cultural Diversity on the Runway

Story By: Toni Woodruff, Reporter

Student Activities collaborated with students to host an international fashion show during Club Rush, Wednesday, Nov. 6, to showcase traditional attire from the students’ home countries, spreading cultural awareness.

“We are trying to grow and share the cultural diversity on campus,” said Janine Gonzales-Cerda, the international student program counselor.

The fashion show consisted of both women and men in casual or traditional style. With looks ranging from FCC T-shirts to men’s attire in countries like Yemen and Iraq to women’s attire in Thailand and Vietnam. There were painted faces and bright colors worn in celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

According to Maile Martin, senior program specialist in student activities, the fashion show is all about bringing awareness to our campus about different cultures through fashion.

International student Manmai Metharittiong is from Thailand and wore a traditional Thai gown for women. Many of the traditional Thai dresses are worn during festivals and ceremonies and are usually made from silk.

She brought the garment with her when she moved to the states for school, “Most of traditional Thai dresses are made from weaving, the one I’m wearing I packed with me from Thailand.”

For FCC student Itzel Reyes, the fashion show gave her a platform to discuss and educate people on Dia de los Muertos.

Dressed in a hand woven and brightly colored dress, elaborate headpiece and a skull painted face, Reyes is ready to celebrate her ancestors. “A lot of the time in the states people mourn their loved ones, which is understandable but at the same time in our culture we like to celebrate them, so I thought this would be a great time to teach people about it,” said Reyes.

The fashion show overall served as an opportunity for both international students and native students to engage in activities on campus and share their cultures together. Gonzales said she hopes that activities like the fashion show are able to help students grow and share their cultural diversity all throughout campus.