The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Many groups represented on International Culture Night

With its theme, “A World with No Culture,” International Culture Night gave students the chance to appreciate diversity through dance, fashion, and food.

ICN took place at 7 p.m. March 7 in Schofield Auditorium.

The event began with a play where, in the future, the creative world has manifested into one single culture due to the advancements of technology and globalization. Two students randomly come across a time machine which takes them back in time to different countries where they experience the uniqueness of each culture.

Countries represented this year included: India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Chile, Malaysia, Ireland, Mexico, Africa, Serbia and China. The Hmong Student Association also sang a piece.

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Daneeiel Nore, an international student from Sweden, said the night broadened her cultural horizons.

“I’ve never experienced much culture outside of Europe and have been here in the U.S. for a couple of months so it’s interesting to see culture from all over the world and experience some nice performances,” Nore said. “The food was a mix of all kinds of things from all over the world.  It was interesting.  The salsa was my favorite, it was great.”

Senior Brittany Rand also enjoyed the night.

“My favorite part was at the end when everybody runs onstage and they’re waving their flags and they’re happy and they’re smiling and they’re dancing,” Rand said.  “That is almost like a tear-filled moment.  You just get so happy, and so inspired.”

Kimhue Nguyen is president of the International Culture Night committee, a sub-committee under the Malaysian Abroad Diversified, responsible for throwing the event.

Nguyen’s hopes in the future the sub-committee will expand by separating into its own group, allowing for the possibility of having multiple events each year.

“We don’t want to have only one annual International Culture Night event per year,” she said. “We want to have something more for the campus and for the community.”

According to publicity manager Kristin Rivall, about 320 people attended last year. This year around the same was expected.

“It was a great turnout,” Nguyen said. “I don’t know how many tickets we sold but I’m pretty sure we reached to 300 or more.”

One of the performers was Ileana Ramirez, an international student from Mexico studying marketing, business and management.

“Our Mexican team sang a song. I was nervous before we sang,” Ramirez said. “I enjoyed the people that came and saw us and the applause.”

Nguyen said that some of the students are leaving just a few days after the event but still wanted to participate.

“Being on stage is, of course, stepping out of their comfort zone but I think that’s a great thing for international students to explore themselves, and express their culture and bring the beauty of their culture around here,” Nguyen said. “I’m really glad they got to be able to do that.”

The event was sponsored by the Malaysian Abroad Diversified student organization, the Residence Hall Association, and Blugold Dining, as well as Eau Claire businesses Egg Roll Plus, Long Chang Market, China Buffet, Pad Thai and Just Local Food.

Nguyen says the cost of the event, which comes from the sponsors, exceeds $1000.

“We have the sponsor team who go to a local restaurant or local business,” Nguyen said.  “Any amount works, even food we accept for the performers because we provide them food.”

Nguyen said last year Blugold Dining provided free food, but this year they provided it at half price.  Other costs included a rental fee for the auditorium. The event service provided lighting, sound, and employees at no additional cost.  She says that saved between $600-700.

Seventy-five to eighty percent of the money raised from ticket sales will go to a charity or a non-profit organization, Nguyen said.

“The money will be put into a non-profit organization or to a good cause locally or globally,” she said. “The remaining will be saved as a back-up plan if next year we don’t get sponsorship.”

Committee members will each nominate a charity or non-profit they wish the funds to go towards and then the group of 17 members will vote.

Nguyen said that she hopes people will take from the event the importance of culture in life.

“Everyone has their own different thing but we come here together as a unit,” she said. “I hope that people will learn to appreciate one another and live happy with each other.”

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Many groups represented on International Culture Night