Going to the Billiken World Festival with your passport in hand, the possibilities are endless. With this passport it can be used as a pass to try the different foods that the festival has to offer. Ending Atlas Week, the 14th annual event had food, entertainment, student and academic organizations booths. The festival was held at the Global Citizenship Building and it started from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
ST. LOUIS—SLU international students served as flag bearers in the Parade of Nations. (SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
The festival kicked off with the Parade of Nations, which took place at The Quad, countries that were represented in the parade:
ST. LOUIS—The Parade of Nation heading to the Global Citizenship Building (SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
- Bosnia, Herzegovina, Poland, Belize, Peru, Nigeria.
- Ukraine, China, Lebanon, South Africa, Cuba.
- Pakistan, Chile, India/Oman, Taiwan, Vietnam.
- Albania, Belgium, Uganda, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Bangladesh.
There were food booths representing different cultures from Latin America to Italy, many of the attendees had the opportunity to taste different types food.
Food Booths at the festival:
- Caribbean and Latin American Student Association (CALSA)
- Taiwanese Student Association (TSA)
- Black Student Alliance (BSA)
- Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO)
- Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)
- Filipino Student Association (FSA)
- Italian Club
ST. LOUIS— Dr. Michelle Lorenzini has been coordinator for the past 13 years. The one thing she looks forward to the festival is trying out the different foods. (SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
A couple of student organizations showcase their skills at the festival. Some of the performances were SLUsera (Salsa dancing), the Tai Chi Club, and the SLU Karate club.
Interested in salsa dancing? SLUsera started last semester, Tina Nguyen and Briana Harrison started the group along with Harrison’s twin sister, Tiara and friend Armando Gutierrez.
ST. LOUIS— SLUsera has performed twice this semester during ATLAS week at HALO’s first annual Spring Gala and during the World Festival.(SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
“We are closely tied with the St. Louis Salsa Community and have danced for quite some time, and eventually we decided to bring our dedicated personal hobby as a part of our campus lives. Our friends, Interfaith Alliance, and the Hispanic Leadership Organization have shown the utmost support for our passion of salsa dancing and have decided to help out with participating in routines and attending events across campus,” Said Nguyen.
The SLU Karate Club is the oldest martial arts at SLU, which started in 1991 by Matt Warshauer.The club is instructed by Master Chris Beardsley and Master Jamie Mize, they are fourth degree black belts. “We do a lot of strength and conditioning, cardio, and push ups. It teaches respect and perseverance. It’s very empowering,” said Sarah Mallick who has been in the club since freshman year.
ST. LOUIS—Mallick ( on the right) has been in the club since freshman year. (SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
Mallick and the rest of the club performed a demo of their moves and showcase the board breaking skills as well. The SLU Karate Club meets Mondays and Thursday at the Simon Rec Center Multipurpose Room, they also have a Facebook page where they post pictures and future events.
ST. LOUIS—Tai Chi promotes relaxation and the goal is to improve flexibility balance. It is also to understand practical applications for self-defense. (SLU/Delores McKenzie-Bush)
The SLU Tai Chi club, started back in 2011 and is instructed by Mr. Nam Nguyen. The club practices Fu Style, a hybrid system that incorporates elements of the Sun and Yang styles. The SLU Tai Chi Society meets every Tuesdays on the 2nd Floor Smart Classroom Simon Reaction Center.
Lorenzini’s intern Megha Ananth, had nothing but good things to say about the event. ” I thought that despite the weather the festival was wonderful and students really enjoyed the festivities, food, and performance, which is the most important thing,” said Ananth.