Russian Speaking Student Association hosts cultural night


Photo: Brandi Boyett/Iowa State

Ladies perform belly dancing on the stage at Russian Cultural Night.

Molly Craig

The members of the Russian Speaking Student Association have something big planned.

For the first time ever, they are inviting the public to join them in a celebration of the culture they love. At 6 p.m. March 9, the Russian Speaking Student Association is hosting what they refer to as Russian Cultural Night.

As the name implies, the members of the association are not just from Russia, but from various countries. Most of the members are from one of 15 former USSR countries, but Indian and American members are in the mix as well.

The new direction of the Russian Speaking Student Association is not just to allow members to surround themselves with others who already know about Russian culture. It is opening up its doors to those who are curious about the country.

Though past events have been rather intimate and aimed at those who speak Russian, the goal of Russian Cultural Night is to reach out to those who are looking for something different.

Constantly looking to improve, the president of the group, Anna Prisacari, scoured emails for feedback on how to improve future gatherings.

“The suggestion was that we should open it up more,” Prisacari said.

Ethnic cuisine made from scratch by various members will be served.

The menu samples traditional dishes from Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Russia. Desserts will be served as well. Vegetarian options will be served to guarantee that partygoers of all tastes can be included.

Members of the organization intend to put on small demonstrations of Russian culture, such as traditional dress and dances. Throughout the night, costumes shall be available for guests to wear as they pose for the camera.

“They can feel Russian for a night,” Prisacari said.

Rohan Sharma is a senior in aerospace engineering. He has been to a Russian Speaking Student Association event before.

“I attended the RSSA’s New Year event, and it was an absolute blast. I felt completely immersed in the culture. I watched skits performed in Russian, ate some Russian food and listened to some Russian music,” Sharma said.

In the spirit of addressing other people’s perceptions about Russia, the organization will show photographs that were entered into a photo contest. People were invited to take photographs of their impression of Russia and submit them into categories.

Entries into the photo contest will be judged, and the winners will be announced during the event.

Bringing a close to the festivities will be the timeless tradition of a dance party.

“The music is pretty contagious,” Prisacari said.

So that they may defray the costs of hosting such an event, tickets are being sold.

The cost for non-students is $12, and for ISU students, it is $10. In order to procure tickets, Vice President Shalika Khindurangala may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]. Treasurer Farid Huseynov is also fielding ticket requests through his e-mail at [email protected].

Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are being prepared. Be sure to select an option when inquiring about tickets.