International students showcased their country’s food, fashion, music and talents at the International Talent and Fashion Show Friday night.
The show represented 37 students from various countries including India, Ghana, Thailand, Iran, Korea, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
Eron Memaj, director of international affairs, estimated a crowd of around 800 people, which incorporated family members of students from around the world and international and domestic students.
The Office of International Student Affairs and the International Student Council came together to put on the show.
Memaj described how the Office of International Student Affairs has worked hard since the creation of the International Student Council last fall. Together they have held eight events, and they are continuing to plan new events in the future.
Memaj went on to describe how the creation of this show came to be.
“We were looking to have a major event that’s something different, and a way to expose our culture to the rest of the community through music and through fashion,” Memaj said.
Rafaela Clerle, welcome committee for the international student council, described how Memaj gave the council the idea for the show because they normally have an International Homecoming event in August. Memaj came up with the idea of doing something similar to that event by having students perform and show more of their culture through a talent and fashion show.
The turnout was much higher than at previous events, which is why Memaj continues to encourage all students to come out and support international students and to bring their families along with them.
“The goal of the show was for people to broadcast their culture and show a little more of themselves. Also, for those in the audience to truly be enriched with this and get the most out of it by gaining culture, beauty and art,” Clerle said.
Traditional dances from various countries and fashions of all styles and types were performed and showcased by international students throughout the show.
“I was surprised by how many students wanted to participate because I thought that people would be really reluctant and shy to show themselves, but we actually had a lot of people performing and it was really amazing,” Clerle said.
Mika Yuchio, freshman marketing major, is a member of the Kent State Korean Culture Club Dance Troop that performed along with her friend Yurie Shiba, a freshman tourism major.
Yuchio described how the troop always tries to participate in events such as the International Student Talent and Fashion Show. The dance troop chose to showcase Korean K-pop during the show.
“Because K-pop is very popular in the world right now we thought that people might know the song, and we wanted to show Korean culture,” Yuchio said.
The dance troop practiced for over a month in order to prepare for their performance, which made them feel more confident onstage.
“I wasn’t that nervous about performing on stage because I was really excited. We practiced a lot and we were just having fun onstage,” Shiba said.
Both Yuchio and Shiba loved having the opportunity to see other students’ culture.
Clerle shared the reason behind why the International Student Council worked to put on so many events for all students to enjoy.
“These events help promote different cultures and acceptance of different cultures, and that’s what we need today in society because we are having so many troubles and conflicts,” Clerle said. “Yes, we may have our differences, but we’re all part of the world and we should be together.”
Clerle described what the council is all about, which is to be an umbrella organization for all other international organizations and international students.
“Basically this council is like home for us, we like to get together and put on events like this and to gather people and just have a sense of a new family in a different country,” Clerle said.
Eryn Gebacz is the international students and issues reporter, contact her at [email protected]