World Night transported members of the USC and Columbia community to different countries around the world through traditional dance and song on Thursday. Upon entering the Russell House Ballroom, World Night attendees were greeted with samples of international candy and drinks. A box of vegetarian delicacies from around the world, such as falafels from Carolina Catering, vegetable spring rolls from Miyo’s, salsa and chips from Tios Mexican Cafe and samosas from Delhi Palace were given to the guests before they were seated.
“I'm hoping that we all become open to other cultures and try to interact more with people coming from different countries because every single one of us has an experience to share or a story to tell that might positively change your perspective or misconception about the world in general,” said fourth-year public health student Ahad Zwooqar, the International Student Association's president.
The countries represented at World Night included Bangladesh, France, India, Iran, South Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, USA and Vietnam, among others. There was also a multicultural fashion show, displaying traditional wear from countries across the globe.
One of the performances was danced to a mixture of Bangladeshi songs. The choreography was done by one of the performers and filled the ballroom with light that reflected from their vibrant saris. Sabrina Karim, a graduate student from Bangladesh in the Arnold School of Public Health, performed in the dance as well.
“One was a folk song, one was a traditional folk song, another one was from movies and the last one was an inspirational song about our country — that we should move with all the strength and with all the energy we have,” Karim said.
Because of the differences in living environments, international students enjoy opportunities to share their cultures with members of the USC community.
“It’s a good way for other students to know about our culture and about the way we have been brought up, the way we dress, the way we dance, the way we sing. If you know someone else’s culture, it’s easier to mingle with them,” she said.
The event aims to encourage and foster the community between students from the United States and students from abroad.
“I hope this event reinforces the bonds between international communities and USC community as well as the ones beyond Columbia area," said library and information science master's student Mir Parvin Pushan, the vice president of the International Student Association. "It promotes the diversity missions of USC and perfectly brings the whole community under the same umbrella.”