Wick Poetry Center holds reading centered around culture

Jillian Holness

The Intercultural Communication Society at Kent State engaged in an international conversation through sharing poetry, songs and dance at the Wick Poetry Center on Friday.

Jensen Hykes, a junior communication studies major and the event’s host, said culture is not necessarily limited to what country a person comes from.

“(It’s) anything you identify with that makes you who you are,” Hykes said. “It can be your ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and so on.”

Hykes began the event by reading a poem called “What if?” that dealt with depression and anxiety.

Following Jensen was Rishan Muneer, a graduate business administration student from India, who read three poems: “Women in Idea,” “Queen Bee” and a poem about love.

His first poem was about missing his mother and wanting to hug her.

“In India, we don’t usually hug,” Muneer said. “Hugging is something I learned when I came here.”

His second poem “Queen Bee,” spoke about women coping with safety in India.

“The safety issue in India is changing, but there was a time where they weren’t safe,” Muneer said. “Gender inequality still exists in India.”

Muneer presented the poem for Women’s Day while in India.

Muneer’s last poem was about how he still hasn’t figured out love.

After Muneer presented his poems, Tanaka Munyaradzi, a senior biology major who was born in Zimbabwe but grew up in the United States, sung and played a song he wrote called “Watch the Throne.” The song was about interracial relationships.

Afia Adu, a junior nursing major from Ghana, shared a poem about Africa called “African Child.”

Following this, Chris Myrick, a senior biology major, shared a poem called “Well Spoken,” about growing up in the suburbs and being told he talked “white.”

After Myrick, ShadowTekk, a band involving Myrick, Munyaradzi and John Pernell, a senior communications studies major, presented their song, “Kings and Queens.”

The presentation was followed by Chinese international students sharing songs and dance.

Kamulijiang Bolati, a sophomore visual communication design major from China, ended the presentation with an American twist: beatboxing.

“I thought the event was great,” said Chen Ni, a graduate student who recently graduated in educational psychology. “It was a great opportunity to be here and see other people from different cultures.” 

Jillian Holness is the humanities reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].