International Night showcases ISU diversity

The opening Lion Dance was performed by Guang Hwa Lion Dance troupe from the Malaysian Student Association during International Night on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. International Night is an annual event held by the International Student Council to give students chances to showcase their culture. 

Mihyar Abdelgalil

After celebrating International Week with

festivities and events, International Night culminated with

performances from more than a dozen cultures. Dances, music,

fashion and food gave the Iowa State community a taste of Asian,

European, African, and North and South American cultures at the

Great Hall in the Memorial Union. The audience participated

throughout the event, whistling and clapping along with the rhythms

performed on stage.

Before the festivities, Ahmad Al-Saygh,

president of the International Student Council, introduced Thomas

Hill, vice president of student affairs.

“We are very fortunate to have student

organizations that help promote and organize international events,”

Hill said. “For fall 2011, we’ve had a record of 3,424

international students.”

Hill also spoke about the opportunities

international events have to assist international students in

adapting to the Iowa State community.

Al-Saygh gave positive feedback about the

turnout of the event. “People are here to see people from different

cultures,” he said. “It was great; it worked as we planned it.”

Flags representing more than 60 nations

surrounded the audience in the Great Hall while performances on

stage took place. Indian dances and music made up most of the show

as the night kicked off with Indian music and ended with a

performance of the Bhangra dance.

A performance from China incorporated the

crowd as performers, dressed in long dragon costumes, walked

throughout the audience before going on stage to carry out a


Various Latin dances were performed by ISU

students such as salsa, merengue and bachata. The music and dance

were briefly halted as announcements and presentations of

International Student Council scholarship awards took place.

Before Indian students performed the ChakRaas

dance, the Puerto Rican Students Association performed dances to

traditional songs and were followed by Chinese songs and


African Students Association performed a

dance, followed by an African poem about the empowerment of African


“I think it turned out great, this was my

first international night, I will definitely attend the ones to

come,” said Mary Kimani, freshman in chemical engineering.

Another performer, Jessica Burrell, senior in

psychology, spoke about the large turnout for the event.

“The performances were nice and there was

great food,” Burrell said.

Korean students and the Russian Students

Speaking Association performed traditional dances. A fashion show

preceded the dances, displaying traditional clothing from China,

Nepal, Chad, and Qatar, to name a few.