Coming soon: A feast for the senses

Watch UND’s Feast of Nations performances for free after March 6

This file photo shows the kinds of performances that have graced the Feast of Nations in the past. UND archive photo.

What do you do when you can’t bring a thousand people together for one of the biggest cultural events in Grand Forks?

You open it up to everyone in the world.

The 59th annual Feast of Nations, a red-carpet, formal event for the Grand Forks and University communities organized by UND’s International Organization, offers food and entertainment from across the world. It has become one of the most-anticipated cultural events in Grand Forks.

This year, the student group knew they couldn’t hold the event in person because of the pandemic. So, they opted to showcase the entertainment portion of the event for free.

The virtual event, “Together While Apart,” will showcase past and present performances by students and performers from across the world. It will be available for viewing after 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 6.

“Feast of Nations has become an event that is dedicated to spreading awareness of diversity,” said Ranju Dhungana, president of the International Organization and a psychology and honors major from Nepal. “People enjoy celebrating other cultures, and it brings communities together. It’s a red-carpet moment with a four-course meal and performances.”

“Feast of Nations is a premier event in Grand Forks because it’s one of a kind,” said Abby Lund, vice president of the International Organization and a psychology and a biology, Spanish and honors student from Grand Forks. “It shows all the wonderful cultures we have in our community and on our campus in a formal, red carpet event. I love working with the other International Organization members and other multicultural organizations on campus, and I enjoy making the event a great experience.”

The University of North Dakota’s Feast of Nations was first held in 1961. Organized by students in UND’s International Organization, it started as a small group of people preparing a dinner in order to share their cultures. It has now grown into the biggest multicultural event in the region, and is a celebration of culture, community, and diversity. As the size of the event grew, UND’s ceremonies & University events office began assisting with the event several years ago.

Today, Feast of Nations offers a taste of the world through performances, cultural displays and delicious food.

Though the “take-out” feast is sold out, everyone is welcome to watch the show. The list of performers, which includes encore performances from past events, follows.

  • Elite Dance Crew is the premier hip hop crew in Grand Forks and one of the hottest up and coming performance troupes in the region. The roots of Elite Dance Crew trace back to the island nation of the Philippines, when Eller Bonifacio brought his passion for dance and choreography to Grand Forks.
  • Olga Kopp will sing a traditional song in Russian. This style of music was sung throughout the day and generally centered around the changing of seasons as well as events of daily life, including love stories.
  • Korean Culture Exchange Club will perform a KPOP dance routine. KPOP, short for Korean Pop, is a genre of mainstream music that originated from South Korea.
  • Somali Nation will perform to Dhaanto music, a traditional Somali folk dance music. The Dhaanto dance-song regained its popularity in the early 20th century and was used to lift soldiers’ spirits. This music was often sung on horseback.
  • Filipino-American Student Organization will perform a Carinosa dance of the Philippines. Carinosa is a Spanish word that translates to “loving” or “affectionate.” In this dance, a fan or handkerchief is used to tell a love story through dance.
  • UND Kendo Club will demonstrate the traditional Japanese martial art, which uses bamboo swords and protective armor. Koyo, an international student from Japan, helped bring the Kendo Club to UND in 2019.
  • Marigold, from Nepal, was named after the popular flower, which represents the beauty of Nepal’s festivities. Marigolds are used to decorate houses during the holidays, because they are beautiful and bright flowers, like the brightness of the performer’s costumes.