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Your global passport to cultural exploration

The Northeastern community now has a passport to explore the world thanks to Carnevale 2014, the International Student and Scholar Institute’s annual celebration of the world’s cultures and diversity on campus, which kicked off Monday evening in the Curry Student Center ballroom.

The theme for the two-month long Carnevale 2014 is “A passport to Northeastern, a passport to the world,” and includes 25 events that will showcase the diverse lifestyles, foods, music, and beliefs that the university’s 7,000 international students bring to campus.

“We are absolutely excited,” said Anis Abdulle, S’14, one of Carnevale’s four student co-chairs. “The main theme is to be more understanding of different cultures, which gives us the opportunity to learn from each other.”

Monday evening’s “take off” event offered the more than 400 guests a taste of what’s to come in the next few weeks. Food offerings included cuisine from Australia, Cuba, Mexico, and the Mediterranean region.

Various cultural student groups, including the Pan Asian American Council, the Northeastern African Student Organization, and Northeastern’s Indian Graduate Student Association Sanskriti, were on hand promoting upcoming events in the Carnevale series.

“Carnevale is a great event because it highlights different cultures and lifestyles we might not normally get to see,” said Prince Kalu, CPS’14, events coordinator for NASO. “This is really a great vibe for us.”

Jane Brown, vice president for enrollment management, welcomed everyone to the kick off event before introducing a dance performance by Team Bollywood.

“We have such rich diversity here at Northeastern,” Brown said. “Carnevale is really a celebration of that diversity and to help students develop an identity as a global citizen and positive-change agent.”

It was announced during the kickoff event that Iranian-American comedian and actor Maz Jorbani would be Carnevale 2014’s guest speaker on Friday, March 14. Tickets will go on sale about two weeks before the event.

Other events planned for Carnevale 2014 include the annual ice carving competition on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Krentzman Quad. Teams will attempt to carve iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, out of blocks of ice.

ISSI International Idol on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in afterHours gives everyone, regardless of singing ability, the opportunity to perform a song in any language or genre.

The annual fashion show is set for Saturday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Fenway Center. And Carnevale 2014 will end with its signature event, Gala Night, on Saturday, March 29, from 7-9 p.m. at Blackman Auditorium.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, please visit the ISSI website.