International Week wraps up with night of celebration


Olivia Ruf/ Iowa State Daily

Participants of the fashion show pose together after the fashion show during International Night on Friday.

Olivia Ruf

The International Student Council celebrated diversity at this year’s International Night.

The night was kicked off with an introduction by Yekaterina Vang, president of the International Student Council and senior in chemical engineering. Following speeches were by Martino Harmon, senior vice president of student affairs and Navya Mannengi, program coordinator for international students and scholars.

“Unfortunately, in my life I have not had many opportunities to travel internationally, but being at these events gives me a wonderful opportunity to experience different places in the world,” Harmon said.

During his speech, Harmon said Iowa State has enrolled over 3,000 international students from over 123 countries.

After the introductory speeches was the fashion show, which showcased many traditional clothing styles from Hmong, Malaysia, India, Somalia, Thailand, Iran, Central America and Pakistan. While the models made their way to the stage, traditional music from each respective country was played to fully immerse the audience into their cultural traditions.

When the fashion show concluded, the crowd dispersed into various stations around the Memorial Union. Various workshops took place from 7:30 to 8:55 p.m., such as henna, writing, bookmark making and international karaoke. These events were held in the Campanile Room.

In the Sun Room, there was an international trivia competition, as well as dance lessons in styles such as K-Pop, Latin and Dabke.

From 8 to 9 p.m. food was served in the Great Hall. Many volunteers came together to serve the public food, such as rice, tofu thai pai, chicken curry and brownies.

After dinner were dance performances. The first group to perform was the K-Pop Dance Team, followed by the Pakistan Student Association. After them was the Guang Hwa Lion Dance. The next group was the Hmong Dance group, and lastly, the Bhangra Dance Club.

All of these performances were put together by student organizations on campus. After the performance ended, there was a dance party to end the event on a lively note.

International Night marks the conclusion of International Week, a week full of various activities presented by the International Student Council. It is a week of celebration for all of the cultures of Iowa State. The week is a chance for students, and the public to experience different cultures through food, dance, history, traditional games and performances.

“[The International Student Council’s] mission is so deeply connected to the work that they do,” Mannengi said. “They put so much effort into being a voice and advocate for the international community. They plan events that spread the beauty of different cultures and a lot of diversity.”

The International Student Council is an umbrella organization on campus that organizes various cultural events, such as the World Soccer Tournament, International Week and the International Food Fair.

“Our organization serves as a platform for about 40 Iowa State international and multicultural student organizations,” according to the International Student Council’s website. “Our goal is to educate students and the entire Ames community on the plethora of international cultures and traditions surrounding them.”