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Students celebrate their culture through performance, dress

The African Student Union performed a spoken word piece titled “I am Africa” during Intercultural Night on March 15. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

The International Student Club hosted its 18th annual Intercultural Night on Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre.

riday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre.

Tickets were available for free through the Office of International and Advanced Studies.

This year’s theme was “Colors,” to remind audience members that they live in a colorful, diverse world.

The theme was based on the song of the same name by Jason Derulo. It was the Coca-Cola anthem for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Shammah Honour Bosah, the International Student Club president and a Nigeria native, has helped plan the event for three years.

“It’s been challenging but rewarding at the same time,” she said. “It’s interesting seeing people get comfortable in a new environment and making them feel less homesick.”

While Bosah has helped plan the event and ran the fashion show part of it for years, she said it is still a challenge to do.

“It does not get easier (to plan),” she said. “I feel like it is the same amount of stress every year.”

She believes the event is a fun way to showcase diversity at SVSU.

“We have people from different countries that come together here,” she said.

She most enjoys the acts that showcase the performers’ language and country, such as the Chinese presentation.

“(I always look forward to) the Chinese presentation the most,” she said. “They always have a really excellent presentation, and I always love to see the traditional dresses at the fashion show. I like fashion, and I like how people can incorporate their traditions into contemporary fashion.”

Throughout the event, announcers Rabil Khan, Lucas Valota and Vanguard reporter Kaleigh Kuhns gave information about each country before the acts began.

The evening started with a parade of the countries represented. Individual acts then represented Nepal, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Poland, China and more.

A fashion show representing traditional garb from each country broke up the acts before a brief intermission.

Acts included traditional dances, singing, a recorder solo, a piano solo, a spoken word performance by African Student Union members and more.

Raul Hajiyev, a Fine Arts senior representing Azerbaijan, was the longest-performing act of the night.

This was his fifth and final act before graduating. He played a waltz by Russian composer Evgeny Grinko on the piano.

He said performers began officially practicing the week of the event. Many of the performers did not need extra time to practice.

“For some cultures, like Bangladesh, it’s part of their culture to be more artsy, so they don’t need to rehearse separately for the event,” he said.

Hajiyev enjoys the events because they are an easy way for SVSU students to be exposed to other cultures.

“I think it’s an easy, convenient way to show some parts of other cultures,” he said. “It’s easy for people to get involved in it.”

Like Hajiyev, Bosah hopes attendees were able to learn about different cultures during the performances.

Before leaving Nigeria, Bosah said she had “little or no sense of people with other cultures.” She believes that many audience members share that same dilemma.

“I want (the audience) to know that we can get wrapped up in our own world and environment,” she said. “I want them to be aware that there are other people and other cultures outside of their own.”

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