The Daily Gamecock

USC hosts 12th annual World Night

Event highlights different cultures with performances

The most intricately designed wardrobes, audience-consuming songs and traditional dances consumed the Russell House Ballroom Friday night for the International Student Association and International Student Service’s 12th annual World Night.

World Night celebrated cultures from across the world, showcasing students and on-campus student organizations in 13 on-stage performances.

“The night is a symbol of diversity. It is one of the few platforms where American students and international students come together to create a spectacular show,” said immunology doctoral student Roshni Rao.

The evening, which was catered by local restaurants including Teapot and Eric’s San Jose, kicked-off with a video promoting sustainability, followed by emcees for the night, fourth-year marketing and management student Jorge Arias and fourth-year public relations student Melissa Gonzalez rushing the stage to a cranked-up Pitbull rap.

Dhakani Sher got the crowd going with their opening performance, a traditional folk dance from the Punjab region, between Pakistan and India. Dressed in garnet and black outfits, with one student sporting a silver sequin “USC” on the back of his outfit, the organization, which hopes to represent USC in bhangra shows and competitions, killed it with their dramatic and in-sync dance.

Arias took a break from his announcing gig to represent Students Associated for Latin America in a two-man performance of Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va,” followed by Amarjit Kaur, sitting stage front singing “Dam mast Qalandar” in Punjabi, with two instruments, a harmonium and a tabla.

English Program for Internationals student Octavio Goio led a group of USC students in an Angolan praise song called “Ku Ngi Xe Ngo” or “Never Leave Me,” which he recorded as a member of group Sanguluka in Brazil. The crowd loved Goio’s energy and creative dance moves, with the whole ballroom standing, dancing and singing the chorus by the end of the song.

“African cultures means singing and dancing. When we cry, we dance, when we’re happy, we sing, when we’re sad, we dance. Not all of the time, but it’s a part of the culture,” Goio said.

An around-the-world fashion show featured formal wear and traditional pieces, including political science doctoral student Joe Chen in a cowboy hat, and student body treasurer Emily Supil modeling a gorgeous yellow Filipino dress.

Lung-Tsu Lin, president of the Nihon Club, and Rohail Kazi, representing Carolina Service Council, took the stage for a brief intermission, speaking about the recent earthquake and tsunami, with Lin encouraging students to, “open your hearts and do what you can for Japan.” Kazi announced that “Gamecocks for Japan” T-shirts will be available at the Russell House Information Desk Monday for $10, payable only by Carolina Cash, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts.

Intermission made a smooth transition into Nihon Club’s fisherman dance from Northern Japan, which symbolized the art of catching fish with their hands.

Rao then sang a stripped-down cover of John Mayer’s “Say What You Need to Say,” oozing a certain carefree and light sound, and putting the audience at ease with a familiar track.

Saudi Student Association took the stage, hand-in-hand, for a traditional dance, with a well-represented audience fan club, followed by Chinese Student Association’s lion dance, and Chen’s army moves and impromptu “Soulja Boy” dance with Arias.

Pan-African Student Association made for the perfect show-closer, bringing the crowd to the front of the stage for a kongo pop dance, which originated on the Ivory Coast. With members cart wheeling on stage, dawned in body paint and traditional get-ups, the ladies of the group closed-out the performance by coming to the front of the stage, one-by-one, shaking their backsides to the crowd’s claps and cheers.

World Night brought the best out of USC, allowing students to share in their respective cultures, and providing a little Friday night entertainment with equally amazing performances.

However, the night sent out an even greater message, and gave students something to think about.

“People want to experience other cultures and things out of the norm. It just proves that all cultures can get along without problems if we really wanted to,” second-year broadcast journalism Dominique Johnson, who performed with Goio, said.


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