International Night showcases diversity on UConn’s campus


The first group to perform was UConn Taiko. Taiko is an ancient Japanese musical art form, specifically done with large drums. (Qilong Yun/The Daily Campus)

Honors Council and Honors for Diversity co-hosted their annual International Night Thursday in Rome Ballroom. The event was a fantastic night filled with multicultural music, food and dance.

“It’s especially nice that everyone comes together over music and dance,” third-semester mechanical engineering major Cara Connors said. “That’s something that everyone has in common. Everyone loves music.”

Before the performances began, attendees were given a chance to taste international cuisine. Dishes including naan bread, edamame dumplings, black bean roasted corn salad and stuffed shells were served buffet-style along the back walls of the room. Attendees had their choice of delicious international desserts like Baklava, cannoli and spiced hot chocolate.

At the center of each table sat a globe centerpiece surrounded with flyers containing information related to the event. Between each performance, the hosts of International Night asked attendees trivia about the seven continents.

The first group to perform was UConn Taiko. Taiko is an ancient Japanese musical art form, specifically done with large drums. The performers drummed in unison, occasionally speaking or shouting between strikes. A definite highlight for UConn Taiko came near the end of their performance, when they moved from the stage to the center of the room. The drummers moved in perfect synchronization, changing drums between strikes.

Husky Bhangra performed next. The group, which consists of three dancers, performs at competitions across the nation. The group utilized various props during their dance, including a Sapp.

Husky Hungama, a South Asian fusion a cappella group, also the stage. The group performed a wonderful mashup of pop hits like Sia’s “Chandelier” and “Let Her Go” by Passenger, as well as songs from around the world.

“I really liked the acapella group [Husky Hungama],” third-semester political science major Kathleen Stango said. “I think its cool bringing that ‘cultural’ aspect to regular pop music.”

UConn All-Stars, a step dance group that competes across the Northeast, was the next group to perform. The group chose to perform on the wooden dance floor in the middle of the room rather than the stage. The room shook with each step of this wonderfully synchronized step routine as the UConn All-Stars wowed attendees with their group cohesiveness.

The final group to perform was Shah Ru Conn. The group is named after iconic Bollywood performer Shah Rukh Kahn, and was sure to hold true to their Bollywood roots during their routine. Shah Ru Conn incorporated acting and stage fights into their routine, showcasing their Bollywood inspiration.

The closing statements for the event were done by members of the Honors Council and Honors for Diversity, where the winners of trivia were awarded a bag of candy.

“A lot of times in today’s culture, it’s very divisive,” Stango said . “But really we have more in common than we do apart. It’s just about celebrating the differences in cultures… and getting to know each other’s cultures and understanding what it means to have a certain identity and be a part of a certain culture.”

Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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