International Festival lets students share cultures with community

The University of Houston-Victoria is preparing to share the cultures of 17 countries, including food, music, dances, traditional clothes and more during its fourth annual International Festival. 

Ludmi Herath

The festival will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 12 in Jaguar Hall Commons, 2705 Houston Highway. The free, public event is hosted by UHV International Programs Office and the UHV International Student Organization. 

“The International Festival has become a popular event and one of UHV’s annual traditions,” said Ludmi Herath, UHV International Programs director. “It welcomes our amazing community members to see all the different cultures that are represented in their local university, and we are excited to see how many people will participate in this year’s event.”

The festival will open with a flag processional ceremony featuring flags of the nations represented by UHV’s international students. There also will be tables and booths with information about 17 countries that will include food and cultural displays created by the students.

“It’s interesting to see other cultures through this festival,” said Keir Walker, a UHV junior from Victoria and recruitment director of the UHV International Student Organization. “In the U.S., we’re used to seeing things a certain way, but the international students bring their heritage and culture with them, and they can share it with us through the festival.”

Keir Walker

In addition to the booths for individual countries, the festival will feature traditional dances and performances from different cultures, including a Chinese Lion Dance, African dances by the KoumanKe’le’ group, and performances from India, Japan, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. At the end of the event, there also will be an international fashion show featuring traditional outfits from many of the countries represented by UHV students.

Arushi Kumar

“We want to give UHV and Victoria a night when they can meet and experience different cultures, not just listen to academic presentations,” said Aarushi Kumar, a UHV senior from India and president of the organization. “Over the years, we’ve seen a growing interest from U.S. students at UHV, and we hope they and community members will be able to join us for this event.”

This year’s festival received support from the International Youth Foundation, Victoria Northside Rotary Club, UHV Student Life and the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. To learn more about the event, contact the UHV International Programs Office at 361-570-4106 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.