The Clarion International Association hosted “Celebrating Our Culture” in Hart Chapel on Friday, Nov. 13 in Hart Chapel.
Clarion University’s international student body introduced fellow students, university faculty and Clarion community members to the cultures of their home countries. Participating students represented their cultures in many different ways including slideshow presentations, song and dance.
The evening’s Masters of Ceremonies were the Clarion International Association Executive Board Treasurer, Natalia Naranjo of Colombia, and secretary Malavika Vemulapalli of India. Before beginning the event, there was a moment of silence held in acknowledgment of the tragedy in Paris, France which took place the same evening as the event.
Co-Master of Ceremony, Vemulapalli, stated that the Clarion International Association Executive board had been planning for this event all semester. A biology and sociology major, Vemulapalli said the hardest part of the event was “getting everyone together” because the performers also had to attend to their studies and because the event was held during the business of late semester.
Following the United States National Anthem, the U.S. flag was joined by 10 other flags, presented by Clarion’s international students. Students introduced themselves and their home countries.
First to be represented was the country of Saudi Arabia, home of business major Hamoud Al-Sudairi. Al-Sudairi recited a nationalistic poem descriptive of many citizens’ feelings regarding their home nation: “…True country love is home with your family.”
Al-Sudairi went on to introduce audience members to Saudi Arabia through a video he had created. This presentation detailed many facts about Al-Sudairi’s country and took the audience to significant landmarks such as the holy cities Mecca and Medina.
Following Saudi Arabia were representatives from India calling on an audience member’s participation. The two students from India then demonstrated, using the audience member, how to dress in a traditional sari. After initially tucking the sari material, made of cloth typically from five to nine yards in length, the second student wound the material many times around the waist of the volunteer.
A university student from Malta led the audience in a song from her country. The song was in the Maltese language, but the audience got to participate by shouting “Malta” when the student motioned to them.
Clarion’s step-up team, the KUDETs, performed a rhythmic dance, making beats through stomping and clapping.
A South African student presented a slide show of her country by detailing the origins of her flag’s colors and the major cities in the country.
Brazil was the final country represented by student performance. Eight Brazilian students participated in an intricate dance involving the weaving of ribbons around a pole.
Other international students included in “Celebrating Our Culture,” acknowledged by flags, were Kenya, Central African Republic, South Korea, Japan, China, France and Ireland.
In Eagle Commons following the presentation, there was a sampling of many traditional foods of the different countries highlighted during the cultural night. International students also set up tri-fold boards with information on their home nations and offered demonstrations, including writing in their home country’s language and traditional body painting.
For more information on the Office of International Programs and future events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.