The international talent and fashion show brings culture to Kent

Abigail Miller

From Korea to Oman, the second annual International Talent and Fashion show brought countries from all over the globe to Kent Friday night.

The International Talent and Fashion show, an event hosted by the Office of International Student Affairs and International Student Council, showcases a wide range of cultures from around the world.

Director of International Student Affairs Eron Memaj said the event is very special to Kent State’s international community because it includes several different performances that shows different international cultures.

“In this event, students from different countries will showcase their culture and talents through various performances as singing, dancing, instrument playing. There will also be a fashion show where international students will wear their traditional attires,” he said. “This event is very important to our international students as it provides an opportunity for them to proudly represent their country and share their culture with the rest of Kent State community.”

Fashion and talent collided during junior chemistry major Foram Parmar’s traditional Indian dance performance.

Parmar said that the dance that she performed, Kathak, is native to Northern India and is about storytelling.

“Kathak is a type of Northern Indian dance. It’s one of seven traditional dances of India,” she said. “The meaning of Kathak is storytelling.”

Parmar said the story behind her dance is about love between two Hindu Gods, Radha and Krishna.

“So, through this dance I was actually telling a story of one of our Gods, Radha, she’s a female, and her love for Krishna, who’s a male,” she said. “How Krishna always taunts her and she likes it in a way, but somehow it gets annoying, but they still love each other.”

Along with her dance, Parmar wore a traditional Indian outfit called chaniya choli, which includes a set of 100 bells, called ghungroos, wrapped around each of her feet.

“What I am wearing right now is chaniya choli, it has a long skirt, a crop top essentially and then a scarf you could say. In this traditional type of dance you aren’t allowed to show your skin, that’s why mine is so low and everything,” she said. “I am also wearing 100 bells on each foot, they’re called ghungroos and when I was dancing, I was moving my feet a lot which made that sound.”

Not only were there many different cultures on stage, but also off stage.

Senior visual communication design major Nassiba Yakubova said that she enjoys coming to the International Talent and Fashion show each year because she likes the fashion aspect of the show.

“It’s interesting, you know,” she said. “It’s fun to see the fashion show and everything, the culture.”

Yakubova said that this is the second year she has attended the event and that because she is an international student herself, from Kazakhstan, she receives emails from International Affairs about events like the show.  

Memaj said he wants all students who attend the event each year to better understand that the things that make them diverse, and that make cultures unique, are what make a better global community.

“I want each student to take away the fact that though we come from diverse backgrounds, different countries, unique cultures and languages, it is this diversity that makes us special and stronger when we work together in our global society,” he said. “I hope students would gain a deeper appreciation for other cultures, broaden their horizon and become global citizens.”

Abigail Miller is the Fashion reporter. Contact her at [email protected].