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Intercultural Night

The 11th annual Intercultural night was characterized by energetic dancing, delicious food, exuberant students, and perhaps most of all, strangers smiling at strangers.  It was an event where truly no matter who you are, as defined by age, gender, sexual orientation, and most importantly, cultural identity, you were respected.
The whole atmosphere in the campus student center was vibrant and of carefree celebration. “Stoked on diversity” was how one of the dancers from the Cultural Dance Ensemble described her mood, and this did attitude seemed to encompass all that were present.

The event was hosted by the Intercultural Club here on campus, with the President Cheng Saetern giving the opening speech before the numerous dances began. The event was the culmination of much hard work and preparation, as the club transformed the Shasta College Student Center into a dinner and theatre type set up, complete with table decorations and a cuisine from 11 different countries. Audience members walked around buffet-style tables, replete with dishes and labels that described the delicacies inside.

After obtaining overflowing plates, they took their seats and quite literally sat back to enjoy the show. Musical talents ranged widely, from the first group of Ballet Folklorico, dancers in traditional Mexican dresses that were nothing less than a flurry of color. They stepped lightly as if there was wind under their feet, and spun so quickly their bodies were nothing more than a blur or blue, green, purple, or black.

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Also performing were the “Wicked Wahines,” dancers that have made a name for themselves locally with their exotic face paint and headdresses, a stark black and white motif in their clothes, dancing to a “Tribal Dance Fusion.”

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They were followed by a soulful rendition of “All Night Long” and “The Circle of Life” by Derek Saelee.

Derek Saelee

 

Next was the Cultural Dance Ensemble, who showed off their belly dancing skills in a very unique performance.

Belly Dancers

One highlight of the show was Mohammed Al Salehi and Muna Galal, two foreign exchange students from Yemen, who held up their flag and sang the Yemen National Anthem. They, much like the other dancers, were dressed very traditionally. 

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They were followed by the Shasta County lu Mien Girls, a troupe of girls that danced two dances choreographed by Shasta College’s own Caitlin Saecho.

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Miriam Kalmoyho followed, with an energetic African Dance. She was joined by a shy young one, who was quite hesitant to dance.

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Tamara Murphy and Taylor Gabel came next, also Shasta College students that performed a modern alternative dance- and also had some devoted fans.

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The final performer was a student from Lebanon, Jad Breish, who invited audience members to come join him as he sang and they all danced together.

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The closing was a small speech by Dr. Keith Brookshaw, they club’s advisor, who told of the students who participated in the Cultural Ambassador program, having studied abroad at Soonchunhyang University in South Korea. After, the night was closed by a dance which all were invited in, and ended the night on a high note with more smiles and laughter and a good time to be had by all.

 

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by Ryan Loughrey

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