Margaux Parmentier

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Winthrop University students represented 13 different countries at the International Bazaar, which gave them opportunity to highlight their culture with photos, activities and typical items from their home countries.

The event, which was held March 29 at the York County Library, was part of the South Carolina Humanities Festival.

The festival, which started in 1991, “celebrates the local history and culture of the host community, engaging the citizens in lectures, discussions, films, and exhibits and facilitating partnerships between cultural organizations and community groups,” according to the S.C. Humanities website.

“Winthrop students with international experience had the opportunity to share cultural insights with community members,” said LeAnn Lowrey, an international student tutor.

“The main purpose is for community members to learn educational information about 13 different countries, learn phrases in various languages and make crafts representative of cultural traditions around the world.”

Rock Hill resident Denise Brabham, who attended with her son, said the event provided him an opportunity to “get a chance to feel like he was traveling to different countries without actually leaving the area.”

Jade Simmons, a junior business management major, is an international student ambassador who represented the Bahamas at the event.

“I wanted to give as much knowledge about my country to other people so that they can learn about it,” said Simmons.

International Bazaar 5
Young students learn about culture in France during the Winthrop International Bazaar March 29 at the York County Library (photo: Margaux Parmentier).

Duha Hamed, an assistant professor at Winthrop who represented Jordan and Palestine, said she decided to participate in the International Bazaar with her two sons to bring awareness about different countries.

“It’s just bringing the world to the Rock Hill community,” Hamed said. “Let people know that there are other countries around the world, there are other nationalities and languages and there are cultures everywhere. It’s not only about English.”

Participants were also given passports that could be stamped by each country represented at the bazaar, in order to receive a prize from the library.

“This is a new partnership that Winthrop has with the public library system and we plan to continue the partnership and do this similar event next year,” said Lowrey.

Editors note: Margaux Parmentier is an international student from France, studying mass communication during the spring semester.