Cultural Showcase exposes University's diversity

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UT Judo member Jonathan Cheuk performs the Uchi mata throw on his partner Kevin Duong at the SAC auditorium Monday evening as part of the showcase hosted by Multicultural Greek Council. Other performances included a mariachi band, latin dance and west african music.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

From modern Indian and Latin dancing to traditional mariachi and West African music, a night of cultural enrichment exposed students to a diverse group of student organizations Monday.

The Cultural Showcase, organized by the Multicultural Greek Council, featured performances by campus organizations at the Student Activity Center auditorium.

“Certainly this showcase does not represent all ethnicities,” Asian cultures and languages senior Tiffany Chen said, president of the Multicultural Greek Council. “However, we want the students to have a little cultural taste of the music and arts and share it with everyone.”

The Multicultural Greek Council collaborated with the Interfraternity Council, University Panhellenic Council, Latino Panhellenic Council, Texas Asian Panhellenic Council, Student Government, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Greek Leadership Intercultural Education, Chen said.

“We specifically reached out to different cultural organizations and people that can educate the UT community,” Chen said. “Our main goal is to have students appreciate the diverse group of students we have here on campus and learn about the culture’s arts and music, and perhaps this can lead them to participate and be more engaged in the organizations in the near future.”

The Caribbean Students Association, Delta Phi Omega, UT Mariachi Ensemble, Texas Latin Dance, UT Judo and English sophomore Ronnie Benion, a guitarist and member of the Beta Rho Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi Social Fraternity, each gave musical, dancing or marital arts performances during the showcase.

In addition, Zoumountchi, a group from Ann Arbor, Mich., played West African music at Gregory Gym Plaza, Chen said.

Urban studies junior Kasfia Islam, president of Delta Phi Omega, said the cultural Indian dance the sorority performed was a way to show the members’ backgrounds to the audience.

“This community has people from such a variety of backgrounds and it’s good to be exposed to everything this campus has to offer,” Islam said. “It is also a way for people to see that Greek life is really enriching and includes a variety of events and activities.”

The UT Judo club explained the history of the sport, which began in 1882 in Japan, and demonstrated several movements of the Olympic martial art, said public health junior Peter Hoang, event manager of the UT Judo Club.

“We went over falling, rolls, throwing, pinning and submissions,” Hoang said. “Since all the organizations that performed came from different cultures and backgrounds, [the Cultural Showcase] event is different from other events on campus.”

Biomedical engineering junior Janel Davis, president of the Caribbean Students Association, said the organization’s performance was fun and upbeat.

“Our dance group performed a medley of soca music and dancehall songs,” Davis said. “I hope it will inspire people to learn more about the region and its culture.”

Biology senior Reena Suresh said she enjoyed the UT Mariachi Ensemble’s performance and said she appreciated the diversity of the organizations participating in the event.

“I think there’s a lack of cultural events on campus, and it’s cool that different organizations get to showcase their talents,” Suresh said.

Printed on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 as: Showcase displays campus diversity