Interfest brings connection and cultural foods


Baswanth Naidu/The sunflower

Students, who served Indian food, make to-go boxes at Interfest, an event organized by the International Student Union on April 13 by the Neff Hall Courtyard.

Despite the frigid weather, many campus community members bundled up to attend Interfest spring 2022, an international food festival held by the International Student Union.

Due to the wind, the festival was moved to the walkway on the Geology building instead of the Neff Hall courtyard.

Magdalena Mollo and Leonardo Sandino perform a short dance presentation at Interfest, organized by the International Student Union on April 13 outside the RSC. (Baswanth Naidu/The sunflower)

 The line of hungry and excited campus members never seemed to end as more and more arrived for lunch.  International music played from speakers, adding to the joyful atmosphere.

Around ten vendors were serving food, which was bought by tickets purchased at the ticket table.  A short latino dance presentation was held at 11:45 a.m.

Maggie Mollo, one of the organizers of the event, said that this is a signature event for the International Student Union.  She said it is a great way for the organization to make money.

“I think it really highlights the cultures around the world and it brings people together, shows diversity … They get to share what makes them, them,” Mollo said.

Leonardo Sandio, another organizer of the event, said that the event is about experiencing different cultures and bringing people together from different backgrounds.

“I feel that people need to get a little bit more exposed, you know, and coming from the pandemic we have been within ourselves, so it is time to come out and to share the good things that we have with the rest of the people,” Sandio said.

Eshithanjani Ponnavolu, a vendor at the event, served sambar rice, chicken fry and brownies as an international dessert.  She said that she spent 12 hours cooking.  She wanted to be a part of the event to promote her culture as well as mingle with other cultures.

“I actually love cooking, and I have a cooking page,” Ponnavolu said.  “I just wanted to promote my page as well as give a taste of my country.  Other than Biryani, there is a lot to India, so I just wanted to present a different style of the country.”

Rakhi Chowdhury, a vendor, said that she was there to represent her culture’s food. 

“I think our country is very much unknown to everyone, so by representing our food … they can learn from our culture, what kind of food we eat.”

Lily Parker, a senior in strategic communication, said that she attended the event for a Spanish assignment about trying new things.

“I think that food is the first thing that brings people together so I think it is so important for people to come together and learn about new cultures and share in each others’ food, I think that is a huge part of a community,” Parker said.

Nicole Miller, WSU alum, came to the event to support multiple students that she knows within the ISU.

“I love the diversity that we have in our community, I love how Wichita State attracts so many students from all over the world … There is just a rich diversity in Wichita,” Miller said.

“I think it’s fun for the Americans growing up in Kansas to be able to get exposed to so many different foods and cultures right here in our backyard.”