Intercultural Spotlight celebrates unity with a talent competition

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Intercultural Spotlight celebrates unity with a talent competition

UNL Omani Student Association during multicultural spotlight

More than 400 students, faculty and staff members gathered in the Nebraska Union on Feb. 4 to watch twelve student groups compete in the Intercultural Spotlight Competition. The evening highlighted unity and cultural appreciation through entertaining performances.

“We organized the event because we believe in the value of cultural diversity and [wanted] to showcase a variety of cultures from different countries, not only one country,” said Luyao Yan, residential international student coordinator.

The event was sponsored by University Housing, the Residence Hall Association, the Scarlet and Cream Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary, the Council of Student Affairs Directors Diversity Program Fund, International Engagement and outside business vendors. Revenue from ticket sales also helped fund the event and provide refreshments for attendees.

The evening began with a cha-cha dance routine from the UNL Ballroom Dance Company and proceeded with student Grace Chai’s performance of a classic Chinese dance. The UNL Russian Club sang and danced, followed by Jiwon Choi of the Korean Traditional Dance Club performing a routine that was representative of Korean culture. Alvin Soo impressed the audience with a Chinese martial arts routine. The talent show’s theme of unity inspired the musical trio Flowreo for Real to rap Lupe Fiasco’s song “The Show Goes On” in English, Indonesian and Mandarin.

After a brief intermission, the group Pop Queens performed a K-pop dance and Las Chicas represented the Mexican culture. Anjali Renukunta followed the all-female groups with a semi-classical Indian dance set to Bollywood songs. Next, the Association of Rwandan Students represented their culture through dance and a story. Guitarist and singer Ether Saure showcased his skills with a performance of “Fuente de Las Bendiciones." The UNL Omani Student Association ended the night of performances with traditional Omani dancing and singing.

Judges Petra Wahlqvist, Adam Triebold, Dr. Anh Lee, Luyao Yan and Erika Hepburn ranked the performers and the audience cast their votes for their favorite performance. Audience vote accounted for forty percent of the score, while judges’ opinions of each performance's originality, showmanship, attire and appeal accounted for the remaining sixty percent.

In the end, the UNL Omani Association won the grand prize of $300. Renukunta’s Bollywood dance won second place and $200. Flowreo for Real placed third and received $120. The Association of Rwandan Students placed fourth, receiving $100; and the Pop Queens placed fifth, receiving $80.

Excited by the event's success, Yan was quick to thank the planning team, including student Shu Qi Wong, nine additional intercultural aides and 25 volunteers. She also expressed her deep appreciation for the support of Associate Director of Residence Life Keith Zaborowski, Assistant Director of Business Contracts and Student Services in Housing Sylvana Airan, and university staff and faculty.

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