International Week: "Travel Around the World"

Nearly two weeks ago, MaSA UIUC members have had the privilege to be apart of University of Illinois' International Week event, 2nd Annual "Travel Around the World" The event was held on a breezy Friday on April 12th, 2013 from 11:00AM to 2:00PM at the Engineering Tent Space.

"Travel Around the World" is a cultural-sharing event in which students from other countries in this university would gather together and have a chance to introduce to everyone their country through opening booths, having performances, games and most importantly, food! Throughout the event, visitors would be given a "passport" booklet so they could "travel" across the "globe" and have them stamped. Later if they have finished their tour and collected all stamps from each countries, they could claim a prize.

As the new MaSA have been assigned, we thought this event seemed fitting to be the first event that we would participate in. Therefore, we have planned beforehand the settings of our Malaysian booth. Food was proposed and we were fortunate enough to have Kak Azwin's mother make Karipap Kentang (Potato-filled Curry Puffs) and Kuih Ketayap and also for Kak Azwin to kindly drop them off to the Illini Union.

The event began at 11:00 AM. Tables were put up beforehand and all we had to do was decorate our booths. After half an hour, U of I students were hustling and bustling around the area to get to class or have ended a class. Many of them stopped by the event and also paid a visit to our booth.

Our MaSA booth: colorful and cheerful

Whenever a person approaches our booth, we would not hesitate to say, "Welcome to Malaysia!" and treat them as friendly as we could. Aina Fatimah made a good tour guide for those who stopped by, explaining a little bit about Malaysia as well as inviting them to taste the delicacies that were prepared.

MaSA members ready to welcome visitors to Malaysia!

Aina Fatimah welcoming and introducing Malaysia to a fellow visitor

Ayvara entertaining a very curious student about Takraw
We were very happy to have been able to feed the curiosities of the students in UIUC. You would be surprised that some who have no clue as to where Malaysia is and yet know very well of the famous Petronas Twin Towers! It is indeed entertaining to see the glow in the faces of our visitors when they had the chance to taste our food and get excited when we explain how we are a country that celebrates the diversity of cultures - Malay, Chinese, Indians and many more.

The event went on for 3 hours. Many of our MaSA members dropped by to give support to the Malaysian booth. Some stayed for the whole event while some came by between classes to chit chat before continuing with their classes. It is indeed a satisfying feeling to be able to gather and see familiar faces of our Malaysian students every once in a while. But most importantly we are proud to be apart of a community that are able to introduce our beloved country to many others.

MaSA will definitely grab a chance of joining an event such as this one in the future!