International Day is once again coming to the Tyler Junior College campus. TJC will celebrate its 18th annual International Day on Tuesday, April 22.

This year’s special guest will be David Smith, a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace. He has extensive experience with conflict resolution and peace studies. Smith has a record of involvement with community colleges and the promotion of unity and peace.

International Day will feature a variety of different events and entertainment this year, including traditional Middle-Eastern dances, Irish step-dances and Kenyan drums. The exhibits vary each year, and each country will have its own booth presenting unique items and artifacts originating from that country. However, probably the biggest draw will be the international cuisine available for sampling, organizers said.

“Personally I’m going just to eat. I like to try new foods, especially exotic or foreign kinds,” said TJC student Brittnee Kennedy.

The celebration is almost entirely student run, with over 120 volunteers participating each year. Most of the participants and organizers are students of Dr. Manoucher Khosrowshahi, TJC instructor and the founder and organizer of International Day. Most people simply call him “Dr. K.”

“Aesthetics is a common language for human beings. We want people to see the beauties of other cultures,” said Dr. K.

The event exists to promote a better understanding and appreciation of world cultures as the world becomes more and more globalized.

“Students should be exposed to cultures other than their own. A better understanding of cultures causes people to become more appreciative of the diversity that surrounds them,” said Dr. K.

International Day is sponsored by over 30 local and national businesses including Cici’s Pizza, Brookshire’s Grocery Co., Coca-Cola, and Outback Steakhouse. New additions arrive every year.

Over 40 countries will be featured this year, with new additions including Morocco, Russia, Costa Rica and Vietnam.

Previous mainstays such as Turkey, Greece, and Japan will be present as well.

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