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Showcase brings culture to ETSU

By Steven Templin II
On February 29, 2012

  • The showcase allowed students to show off talents from different cultures. More than 15 cultures and ethnicities were represented. BRANDILYN HAMM

On Saturday night, the office of Multicultural Affairs brought to the students of East Tennessee State University an event that fused together a collection of different cultures represented here on campus, aptly called "Fusion: The Multicultural Showcase".

The Multicultural Showcase, held in the D.P. Culp Center Auditorium, recognized and celebrated the diversity within the university. More than 15 cultures and ethnicities were represented.

Some of the countries represented were Laos, China, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia and Mexico.

"It was great to see all the different cultures come together to put this event together for campus," said Laura Terry, director of Multicultural Affairs, and the person responsible for putting the showcase together.

Students who participated modeled traditional attire from various countries and shared different cultural talents as well.

One of the most popular talents that participants performed at the showcase were dances. There were dances from the Latin, African, Indian and Korean cultures.

One of the dancers, Patience Sando, performed an African Dance from Liberia.

"I thought the showcase was fabulous," said Sando. "The idea of displaying so many different cultures and their traditions was amazing and to be apart of it gave me a sense of pride."

Other participants sang songs from their culture. There were singers from Brazil, Serbia and China.

The showcase was hosted by ETSU alumni Najima Adam who also participated in the modeling portion, representing Ethiopia, the country from which she was descended.

"I thought the event turned out very well and had a great turnout," said Adam. "It was also good to be a part of this and represent my culture proudly."

A lot of the students were affected by the showcase as well.

"This was an amazing experience," said senior Ian Taylor.

Some of the students who participated don't get to see or do some of the talents that were performed in the showcase now that they're away from home. So for some, it was sort of like a reunion.

"I love my racial background and its traditions, so having the opportunity to showcase some of those things which sets me apart from the cultures was fascinating," said Sando.

Taylor said, "I saw so many people get excited when they saw their culture on stage. It is important that minority students on a predominately white campus to see their culture represented on campus."

The office of Multicultural Affairs always strives to bring diversity to the campus but they also try to send a message out the students who attend the events as well.

"We just wanted to show the students that it's just not always about the classroom but that some extracurricular activities matter too," Terry said.

 


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