Global Culture Night features multicultural art, entertainment, food to promote diversity

The 10th annual Global Culture night features many performances, foods, music and clothing from all over the world. LaQuanda Simpson of the POZA Troupe performes a native African dance.

The 10th annual Global Culture Night, sponsored by the Student Multicultural Advisory Committee (SMAC), was celebrated at Norton Auditorium April 21.

There are about 400 students at UNA who represent a country outside of the United States, said SMAC adviser Allison Ray.

This year, the Global Culture Night event had a theme from SMAC called Aim to Change.

“We are seeking to advocate, integrate and motivate students toward racial and international awareness through multicultural and education programming,” Ray said in her opening speech, describing what the theme meant.

Some agree that this theme is appropriate for students at UNA.

“It’s definitely one worth pursuing,” said Loic Dimithe, a UNA student from Cameroon. “Many students do not know what goes on outside their neighborhood, so this helps give students a new perspective of the world.”

This year, the program was hosted by Dimithe and Rachel Bond.

“It was fun to see everything that went into it, and to be a part of it was really cool,” Bond said.

Before the performance began, Dimithe and Bond gave the floor to UNA President William Cale to talk about what it meant for the school to share and invest in each other’s cultures.

“We bring students here because the world has grown smaller through technology, and these students will inherit the future,” Cale said.

The night began with an African welcome rhythm called, “Dansa” and others performed by the POZA Troupe and CORE Drummers. Bond said it was a “welcome dance for celebratory events.”

Performances featured a diverse medley of ancient and modern songs and dances from the Chinese Student Organization, the dynamic song selections by the UNA Ascending voices and even a French poem recited by Sebastian Rassinoux. The last of the performances was an upbeat Indian dance performed by Shikah Shah and Bhagyashri Patel.

“(People from our country) appreciate seeing us represent them by our traditional dance as much as (American people do for their country),” Patel said.

Next, some of the UNA international students took the stage in reflecting some of their traditional clothing and styles. Countries included China, India, Saudi Arabia and African nations. Afterward, students and faculty assembled at the GUC to experience an international array of foods from South Asia and Saudi Arabia. The DJ began playing songs that brought everyone together for a celebration through dance.

“It’s cool to see the people do this,” said Darrell Coble, president of Japanese University Meal Project. “They’re wearing different clothing, playing different music, and yet they are all (dancing to it) together.”

Ray said she was pleased with the turnout.

“I’m proud of our international students and the fact that it had a great turnout,” she said. “I encourage people from the Shoals area to really take our goal seriously.”

Even for those who performed, they gave their appreciation to those who supported them by watching them.

“It was amazing,” Shah said. “We appreciate (students) taking time to come and see our performance.”

Global Culture Night is an event where students either foreign or domestic can be active in each other’s cultures and beliefs and in the midst of it find that they have something in common, said Dr. Chunsheng Zhang, vice provost of international affairs.

“By doing this, we continue the tradition of sharing each other’s culture,” he said. “Even though people may think that because we speak a different language or have a different skin color then we are different; we are actually very much the same.”