Last year, Night of Nations had Giltz Auditorium packed for an evening celebrating culture. This year, Smit Pujara is expecting standing room only for the 12th annual Night of Nations, sponsored by the Global Education Office and Club International tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Giltz Auditorium of Hawkins Hall.
“It’s like a festival to us,” Night of Nations marketing coordinator Smit Pujara said. “We all come together and celebrate and learn by representing our cultures.”
Plattsburgh State has more than 350 international students coming from more than 75 countries, making PSUC one of the most diverse SUNY schools. Pujara and the rest of the Night of Nations team hopes international and domestic students can come together to learn and appreciate other cultures.
The team has been planning this night since March. Together, they have been auditioning acts, coordinating a lineup and rehearsing with clubs.
They have a lineup of 12 performances from clubs and individuals providing entertainment that showcases their culture. Performers will be dancing, singing, reciting poetry and beatboxing — all visually representing the art of their cultures. Each has worked for months on their performances to showcase their talents and cultures and auditioned in September.
Some clubs making appearances are Club Caribbean, Chinese Association, Indian Culture and Entertainment, JEDI, Korean Association, JCAP and more, including four individual performers showcasing their solo talents.
Junior Hoan Ngo is the event manager and is a part of three acts performing Saturday. She has been involved with Night of Nations since her freshman year at PSUC.
“It’s always great to be a part of the show, either as a normal performer or as the show manager,” she said. “You know, everybody is the same. We practice together, we sweat together and we laugh together.”
The theme of the night is “Spectrum: Paint the World” representing the spectrum of people, diversity and culture that is found on the campus.
Pujara thinks spectrum is a perfect theme for the night because anyone can be a part of a spectrum of cultures.
He emphasized that culture doesn’t have to be where one is from, but what one identifies with.
Ngo herself is from Vietnam and enjoys performing with cultural clubs outside of her own.
“It’s wonderful to see how the show is so diverse as a whole,” she said. “You can expect American students participating in Asian clubs’ performances or Asian students being a part of an African group.”
To her, spectrum represents everything from inclusion, diversity, and culture represented in all colors and races.
“We have so much diversity,” Pujara said. “All of the cultures are so colorful.”
Email Jacob Elsbree at firstname.lastname@example.org