Flags of 42 countries adorned Francis Quadrangle on Tuesday morning as festivities began for the inaugural International Day at MU.
The event, which was coordinated by the Missouri International Student Council, brought together 13 different ethnic student organizations.
“We want to create awareness and respect for culture,” said Elizabeth Meyr, an event organizer with MU’s International Center.
Divya Sitaraman, a doctoral student from India, saw the event as a great outlet for meeting other international students.
“I think it is a wonderful way to meet and interact with all the organizations,” she said. “The flag ceremony was very beautiful and very nice.”
Geraldine Darangwa, a recent MU graduate from Zimbabwe, found a sense of pride in attending the first-ever event.
“I came because I’m an international student, and it is very exciting that I can say I was there for the first one,” Darangwa said.
The all-day event opened in front of the Columns on Francis Quadrangle with the country flags ceremony.” Students from the 42 countries whose flags were included in the ceremony make up the highest percentage of international students at MU.
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton signed a proclamation for the event, which is scheduled to be held on the fourth Tuesday in September each year.
Following the ceremony, flag-bearers marched to Lowry Mall for an international bazaar.
Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli, who won a gold medal in the 1500 meter freestyle in Beijing, was scheduled to take part in a forum on MU’s Olympics experience in Beijing as a part of the event.
Campus Dining Services was set to participate in the event as well, offering an international dinner at its dining hall locations where African, Asian, European and South American dishes were expected to be available.