Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO’s International Village hosts “High Tea at the IV” every Friday for students, faculty, guests

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Mechanical engineer senior Elvis Maina enjoyed a cup of Indian tea at the "High Tea at the IV" event on Friday, Sept. 10.
Photo by April Styer

Stepping into the International Village for the “High Tea at the IV”, SEMO students were treated to India’s bright colorful dresses, delicious Indian goodies, and energetic music.

Proudly wearing his cultural clothes called Kurta, Computer science senior Manikanta Nari said he was excited to share his culture and traditions with SEMO students and staff.

“This is a Ganesh event that we celebrate for 11 days, but we are actually just going to celebrate and worship for three days,” Nari said. “We have invited a lot of people to this tea for them to get to know our culture and why we celebrate like we do.”

Ganesh, in Indian customs, is the elephant god that is the remover of obstacles. The Indian Student Association picked this particular week to host the High Tea to share their celebration and worship with fellow SEMO students and faculty.

The International Student Organization hosted their weekly “High Tea at the IV” Friday, Sept. 10 at the International Village’s multipurpose building. The High Tea is an event where the International students invite students and staff to socialize while learning about culture and traditions. Each week, a different nationality is represented, and India was the host on Friday.

Southeast students from India organized Friday’s tea and students, guests, and staff got to see the Indian women in their traditional dress called salwar while the men wore kurtas.

Assistant Director for International Admissions Shvetha Gohn joined the “High Tea at the IV” as a way to show others unity with all the different nationalities at Southeast.

“This is an opportunity for faculty, staff, community and students to get to know each other in an informal way,” she said. “It is like we are learning a little bit of each other’s culture because each week, a student organization takes up a cultural aspect of it, and we get the opportunity to make those connections.”

While students and faculty mingled with the international hosts, they viewed some of the jewelry worn by women during Indian marriage ceremonies and took part in Indian dances.

Nari and his friends convinced onlookers to join them during the traditional dances.

Freshman English major MaKenna Wessell was one of the students pulled into the dance lesson.

“I think this is amazing. I have only been at the International Village two weeks as a student worker, and this is awesome,” she said. “They are so welcoming. I was worried about not being Indian, but they just dragged me on the dance floor like one of their own.”

The next “High Tea at the IV” will take place Friday, Sept. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the International Village multipurpose building.

For more information about “High Tea at the IV,” visit SEMO’s International Village website.