Authentic cultural attire and traditional dances illuminated the D.P. Culp University Center Ballroom at the Multicultural Fusion Showcase this past Sunday.
The event, which has been going on for several years now, showcased 11 different talent portions and represented 21 different countries through cultural attire.
“This is probably the seventh or eighth year that we have done this; the main goal is just to see the students all together,” said Laura Terry, Director of Multicultural Affairs. “Even though they do have those differences, they also have similarities; it’s about watching them learn from each other. It was so great … just watching all of the students, all of the different ethnicities mingling together.”
Terry said that one of her favorite things about the showcase was how supportive the students were of each other, and how interested they were in each unique culture.
“Once all of the dancing and things were over, you could see the different cultures trying to learn how to do the dances from other cultures; it was fantastic,” Terry said. “The goal is to make the students come out to something and be a part of something. It’s always so good to see that.”
The spectators and participants were able to experience these various cultures represented through the students at ETSU. It gave students from different backgrounds the chance to showcase some of their unique cultural traditions.
“It was neat to see Spanish students in African attire, and seeing how they could step in and really learn and acknowledge each other’s cultures,” Terry said. “It’s one of those events that just kind of comes together because everyone is so involved.”
For Yohann Aboa, the Fusion Showcase is something he looks forward to helping with each year. Originally from the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), he relishes the opportunity to represent his native country.
“It felt like I was given the ability to share what it was like to be at home with everyone,” said Aboa, ETSU GA at the International Programs and Services. “I got to show that there is a lot more to discover than is usually portrayed of us. It also helps to show the other cultures present here at ETSU.”
While many participants returned to help with the showcase, this was also the first year some students were able to participate. As a new participant in the showcase this year, Kreneshia Whiteside was enthusiastic to model cultural attire from Trinidad.
“It was a gorgeous purple sari that required help from the SACE members to put together,” said Whiteside, the president of Black Affairs Association. “I modeled the outfit on the runway during the beginning and ending walk; I would definitely do it again in the future.”
Whiteside also encourages others to participate in or at least attend the showcase.
She said that it has been a great way to meet new students from various cultural backgrounds.
“It’s a great experience, I think everyone is a little curious to wear clothing or perform an activity from a different region,” Whiteside said. “Watching it can be just as good as participating; you are still being enlightened.”