Indiana State University Newsroom

Heritage Day Fair set for Nov. 16

November 12, 2013

People can learn more about the cultures of Indiana State University students, faculty and staff members from around the world at the upcoming Heritage Day Fair.

Indiana State will host the second annual fair on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the North Arena of the Health and Human Services Building. The fair will feature student groups and local organizations to teach attendees about their heritage, including cultures from around the world. The event is free and open to the public.

"It's an opportunity for our students and for the community to build relationships while learning about different cultures," said Zachariah Mathew, associate director of the Center for Global Engagement. "Indiana State and Wabash Valley community members come from all walks of life, but people don't always realize the significance of having so many different cultures and groups as part of the community."

The Heritage Day Fair gives people the opportunity to showcase their heritage in ways that they may not otherwise be able to do, Mathew said, while also providing attendees the chance to learn more about their acquaintances and friends.

At last year's inaugural fair, people tasted food common in different countries, learned about multiple religious organizations in Terre Haute and watched different song and dance performances from different cultures. Several students also played musical instruments not commonly heard.

Fair participants also taught about the ways in which their culture defies stereotypes. During last year's event, several students who also represented the Islamic Center of Terre Haute taught people about the number of countries that have significant Muslim populations.

Members of other organizations educated fair attendees about their heritage as well.

"We had a terrific response for last year's Heritage Day Fair. A lot of different organizations chipped in and were excited to have the opportunity to introduce people to some of the things they do," Mathew added. "We are looking forward to building on that experience and having even more to enjoy at this year's fair."

The fair will be the final day for Heritage Week, a series of events taking place at Indiana State. The week starts with an international coffee hour on Tuesday, and continues with an international music performance by the East West Percussion Ensemble on Thursday.

Following the fair, the Indian Student Association will host "Jai Ho! An Indian Global Night" at 6 p.m. Saturday in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede I. The event will showcase Indian culture through Indian traditional dance, a fashion walk, Bollywood dances and a presentation about India followed by an Indian ethnic dinner. The event will educate people about Indian culture and the diversity at ISU.

"It will be a great week of events scheduled," Mathew said. "People will be able to celebrate their heritage while teaching people about where they come from and who they are."

The fair is organized by the International Student Leadership Council and Student Government Association and sponsored by the Center for Global Engagement and Division of Student Affairs. For more information, please contact Zachariah Mathew at 812-237-2439 or

Photo: (ISU/Rachel Keyes) An attendee at the Heritage Day Fair at Indiana State University in 2012 learns more from international students. Indiana State hosted the event as a way for people to learn more about cultures and religions from around the world. Representatives from several Terre Haute organizations also participated in the event.

Photo: (ISU/Rachel Keyes) The Heritage Day Fair in 2012. Indiana State University will be hosting the second annual Heritage Day Fair on Nov. 16.

Contact: Zachariah Mathew, associate director, Center for Global Engagement, Indiana State University, 812-237-2439 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or