Last night the UConn Honors Council and the Multicultural Honors Collective co-hosted their 15th annual International Night in Rome Ballroom in South Campus. The evening was an energetic one and included many performances by a variety of cultural dance groups, as well as trivia, music and a spread of diverse foods to try. The event was funded by the Undergraduate Student Government here on campus.
Four MCs started the night off with trivia. There were seven rounds throughout the evening, one round for each continent, and it included questions on national capitals, wonders of the world, geography and other fun facts. Food was also made available. Guests could sample traditional Middle Eastern, Asian, Italian and Hispanic food.
The first performance of the night was by UConn Taiko, a Japanese drum group. “Participating in International Night is always nice because our goal is to spread awareness of Japanese culture and Taiko drumming, which is a growing presence here and in Japan,” said UConn Taiko president, Adomous Wright, a fifth semester computer science and engineering major.
Although this is their major event of this semester, the musical group also participates in the World Festival in the spring and Asian Nite in February, hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center.
Next to perform was UC Thunderaas, an Indian dance team, followed by Alima International Dance Association. Alima is a non-competitive dance team whose goal is to teach its members and the community about cultural differences through dance and music.
“We emphasize and encourage that whatever culture you have and are interested in, you can bring forward pieces,” said president Katherine Acevedo, a seventh semester communication and psychology major. Acevedo went on to explain that all their dances are student choreographed, hailing influences from Trinidad, Jamaica, Indian classical dance, Bollywood and K-pop.
Alima is currently involved in a fundraising project, working with Adhunika, a group in Bangladesh, to provide and empower women with technology.
After Alima’s two dances, dessert was brought out and guests of the event could choose from a variety of international desserts, including cannolis, tarts, cookies and baklava. Dessert was followed by a lively dance to a mash-up of traditional and pop-culture songs from the Nubian Foxes, a group who seeks to entertain and educate people about African culture through dance.
Husky Bhangra, another Indian dance group sharing the goal of raising cultural awareness around campus, took the stage afterwards.
The final group to perform was the UConn Irish Dance team. They performed a number of Irish step dances with both hard and soft shoes. New this year is a male and female group with the hope of spreading Irish culture through music and dance.
The fun-filled evening came to a close with the announcement of the trivia competition winners and a comment from the president of the UConn Honors Council, who said, “This is the 15th year we’ve been doing this event. It is great to see this event grow and to give awareness to different cultures in the international community.”
Julia Mancini is a contributor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.