Sunday, April 14, 2024

Cultures collide in Warren Ballroom

By Jesse Taylor

The Angell College Center’s Warren Ballrooms came alive April 23 with SUNY Plattsburgh students representing the various countries and cultures they are from.

Think of Epcot’s around the world attractions in Disney World, but instead of fun rides and large cultural buildings, think of tables adorned with countries’ flags and trifolds with information about their countries.

Students from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Japan, Pakistan and India set up tables showcasing their cultures from around the world.

Each country represented had a table with its own decorations, flags and information displayed. While some tables were more extravagant than others they each had something unique to learn or do. 

Junior Adeeb Chowdhury and a member of the Desi club set up a table showcasing the marital rituals in Bangladesh. The display was called “Love in Bengal.”

Chowdhury believes it is important for people to see the different aspects of countries and their cultures. He said that when it comes to “third-world countries” many people “think of starving people.”

But Global Night proved this stereotype wrong. The Pakistan table brought items from Pakistan including a cap that men wear, slippers, churni; a special cloth from Pakistan, and chili mili candy. Students at the India table wrote people’s names in Hindi on a piece of paper. 

Global Night was a celebration of people’s unique cultures and recognized that SUNY Plattsburgh students come from all over the world.

Three cultural clubs attended: African Unity: The African Student Association, Fuerza: The BIPOC student Association, and the Desi Club. Each had their own table tended by members of their respective clubs. Fuerza let guests decorate their own tote bags, African Unity had flyers of their events and members and Desi had a trifold set up that let people play Jeopardy. 

At around 5:40 p.m, while people browsed the tables, students began performing songs, dancing to music, and reading poems from their countries through a microphone at the back of the ballrooms.

First up was a Bengali Poem recited by Chowdhury followed by a song rendition by Saanvi Moryani, a Pakistani Poem by Noon, a Bollywood dance by Ankita Mane and Anushri Rao, a group dance by African Unity with a bonus Bollywood Mashup song and dance routine by Desi Club to wrap up the event. The group dances made the room come alive, although only two people performed them there were shouts of praise and rounds of applause during the routines.

Each performance offered a glimpse into the cultures that the student body at SUNY Plattsburgh are a part of. While the Ballrooms may not be known worldwide, it showed that it could make enough room for people from all countries and all cultures to fit within its walls.

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