Rome Ballroom was transformed into the United Nations Thursday, as different cultures came together to celebrate UConn’s diversity. International Night, playfully nicknamed “I-Night,” consisted of three hours of food, performances and overall camaraderie. As an Honors event, the night brought in dozens of students looking to enjoy a Thursday filled with noshes and fun, as well as to check off their Multiculturalism & Global Citizenship and Social Change, Service, & Sustainability checkboxes.
Students walked into a United Nations-esque setup, featuring dozens of tables sprinkled around the room, each with a different country. Before long, dining services completed their culinary set-up, a spread consisting of four generalized cuisines: Italian, Mexican, African and Asian. Lines quickly formed behind the two long buffet tables, and students grabbed a mango lassi before returning to their seats to talk with friends and wait for the performances.
The acts did not disappoint. The night started with a thunderous drum performance by UConn Kodama Taiko, a modern Japanese-style drum group which has been a loud staple of percussive groups on campus for 15 years. Next was a performance by UConn Wushu, a high-flying kung fu group which showed off their acrobatics by bringing (fake) swords and other martial art materials into their act.
The final three performances all centered around one thing that brings the world together: Dance. Alima International Dance Association brought in a group that aims to “teach our members and the surrounding UConn community about cultural differences through the art of dance and music,” according to their UConntact page. UConn Irish performed next, high-stepping rhythmically across the stage, before performing individual solos on the center stage. Lastly, Bringing Awareness Into Latinx Ethnicities (B.A.I.L.E.) showcased the magic of Latin dance, partnering up on both stages and showing their moves.
As expected, the worldly culinary experience was well received by the attending students.
“The food was spectacular,” Nicholas Villandry, a third-semester material science and engineering major, said. “I thought the performances were really good. I like events like this because they’re multicultural, and I like that aspect.”
“International Night is a fun experience that Honors Council puts on,” Lisette Donewald, a third-semester political science major, said. “I think people enjoyed the food and got the chance to see some groups on campus that they usually don’t get the chance to see.”
International Night lived up to its name, showing the multiculturalism of UConn’s student body, and the smiles on the attending students and performers are all the more reason to attend the next one.
Daniel Cohn is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.