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Multicultural games help teach at Int’l Education Week

By Charlotte Harris, Contributing writer

On Thursday afternoon, international and domestic students alike gathered in the Memorial Union Building to learn and play games from around the world.

The event was hosted by Delta Xi Phi, the Vietnamese Student Association and the Confucius Institute. Students sipped Thai iced tea and bubble tea as they gathered around tables to play games including Chinese games — like Mahjong and Go — and a Vietnamese betting game.

The consensus among students playing the games was positive.

“It’s a blast,” said Meghan VanHoose, a junior who is a member of the Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. “I just love games in general.”

Abby Ferguson, another DXP member, agreed. “It was really fun.”

As for why exposure to other cultures is important, Ferguson replied, “It helps you learn about the differences as well as the similarities.”

Members of the Vietnamese Student Association taught students to play a Vietnamese betting game called “Bầu cua cá cọp,” which translates to “Squash Crab Fish Tiger.” The game revolves around a colorful mat depicting six animals.

Traditionally, players gamble money and roll dice, placing bets on which animal the dice will indicate. At the event, however, students played Squash Crab Fish Tiger with a fun twist, where they bet small cups of Jell-O instead of money.

The games were a fun way to learn about aspects of other cultures.

“Learning about other cultures is important because it teaches you a different way of thinking,” junior and DXP member Becky Carrasquillo said. “It opens your eyes to what’s out there.”

The Games From Around the World event was held as part of International Education Week. Here at UNH, the week has been packed with an exciting variety of activities exposing students to other cultures and international opportunities.

Gregg Orifici, assistant director of the Center for International Education, said the week is becoming bigger and bigger every year.

“We have over 30 events, with many different opportunities from the arts, to cooking, to lectures on going and interning abroad. There’s something for everyone,” he said.

The response to International Education Week this year has been impressive, according to Orifici.

“Students and faculty are really flocking to the events,” he said. “I think there’s a level of excitement that I sense on campus during this week.”

The Games From Around the World event was just one of the many events designed to expose students to other cultures.

“For those who can’t get abroad and experience the diversity of the world, we have to do our part to bring those opportunities to campus,” Orifici said.

The event helped bring students closer together regardless of their cultural background. “It’s so much fun to interact with people over games,” said VSA member Kim Tran. “We bond and learn about each other.”

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