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Southwestern: Small but Diverse

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Southwestern: Small but Diverse


On Friday, April 5, Southwestern students tuned in to enjoy International Cultural Night. The events began at the academic mall with loud music to kick-start the evening. This event allowed people from various backgrounds to come together and share their cultures with each other. Initiated last year by Sabrina Zheng ‘24, the International Cultural Night was successfully organized for the second time in a row, and was funded by student organizations including the JEDI center, Student Activities, LatinXcel, and the Asian Student Association. 

Cultural events are all about bringing students and communities together; despite the small population of the university–1483 undergrads to be exact–there was a diverse array of cultures. Students from different countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Lebanon, India, Palestine, Philippines, and South Korea, came together to participate in the parade of nations that commenced the Cultural Night. 

Students holding up their respective flags, Photo by Carolyn Bray

During the parade, participants wore their cultural attire and proudly carried their national flags around the academic mall. Many also formed small groups and set up tables that represented their countries. SU’s International Cultural Night not only brought students within the university together, but the faculty members, friends, family, and locals from the Georgetown community, some of whom even expressed their gratitude by helping set up the tables! 

These tables were filled with authentic snacks, delicious food, and small artifacts from students’ home countries/cultures. Later, a multi cuisine dinner from six different countries was also provided by the Student Activities.

Following the parade of nations was a diverse variety of cultural performances. Beginning with the cultural fashion show, participants showed off their traditional attire on stage while the DJ played cheerful songs in their native languages for them. While some simply walked across the stage, others incorporated their cultural dances into the walk. 

The fashion show was followed by the traditional Chinese dragon dance; this dance is historically believed to drive evil spirits away and bring good luck. It must also be one of the reasons for the success of the Cultural Night! 

Dragon dancing and throwing lettuce, Photo by Carolyn Bray

With loud drum music, the dancers who were dressed as the dragon went around everyone and even threw oranges and lettuce at the spectators! Subsequently there was a martial arts demonstration that included breaking boards and an energetic K-pop dance performance by Kontrol Crew, a Texas based dance group.

 While Southwestern University’s very own Magnolia Collective produced some rocking melodies, the BSU (Black Student Union) step team danced and rocked the evening away. The Cultural Night performances ended at the Cove with a comedy show by Abby Govindan from India.

The number of people who took part in the Cultural Night seemed to increase dramatically from the attendance last year– especially for a relatively small university like Southwestern. The amount of people who participated is truly striking; to learn about so many different cultures in one small place is fascinating.

Magnolia Collective performing, photo by Carolyn Bray

Certainly, these events provide a sense of community and diversity within the university. Thanks to the coordination of the International Cultural Night Committee and staff members, International Cultural Night was executed strategically, allowing the participants to enjoy a night filled with fun performances and activities!

Look out for future events like the International Cultural Night and don’t miss out on making irreplaceable memories! 

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