On Saturday, September 19, GlobalPittsburgh — a local nonprofit dedicated to fostering an international community in Pittsburgh — hosted its annual picnic at North Park. They welcomed over 200 international students, community members, and globally-minded people to the event, which boasted the Brassero Grill Food Truck and the PGH Halal Food Truck, as well as family friendly games, a photo booth sponsored by Zipcar, music, and dancing.
Chatham University’s participants gathered in front of Chapel at 11:15 a.m. with the intention of leaving at 11:30 a.m., but the van was severely delayed due to a misunderstanding about the location of the meeting place. The mix-up left students feeling frustration.
“There are many troubles in this event,” junior Kaho Akai said, going on to describe problems at the event itself.
“Suddenly one of the Arabic student playing soccer shouted and fell down,” she said.
The student in question broke his leg because of a dislocation of the knee, and he couldn’t stand up. A GlobalPittsburgh member called police and an ambulance.
“However, it happened during ending ceremony, so we ended the event without finishing the ending ceremony,” Akai added.
Although there were a lot of troubles, Akai added that she really enjoyed the event.
“The activity was really enjoyable,” she said.
One of the activities played at the picnic was Human Bingo. The participants wrote 25 things about people’s cultural behaviors, characteristics, or knowledge on a paper — for example, people who know the words “good night” in German, people who can use chopsticks well, and people with tattoos. Participants had to seek out people who met each characteristic and get a signature from the person.
“The game was really good opportunity to talk with strangers,” junior Ayako Inoue said. “Usually I am afraid of talking with strangers in English because my English is not so good. However, thanks to this activity, I could talk with many people. This activity was really good for international students who are learning English.”
Inoue was moved by the fact that there were so many people talking to each other in the same language, English.
“I don’t know why, but I was surprised and moved very much,” said Inoue. “Perhaps, it was because many people from different countries can communicate with each other only they can speak English. This experience became my strong motivation to study English.”
Akai was also thankful for the activity.
“I am originally a sociable person in my native language, but in English, I couldn’t talk very well. The game gave me opportunity to talk with many people,” she said.
“Many international students, even if they are originally sociable, can’t communicate well in English,” Akai added. “I want to participate in more events like this event, and I want to talk with more and more people from various country.”