International students present parts of different cultures

The International House threw its annual United Nations Day Tea on Sunday. The event is a tradition that dates back to 1947.

Founded in 1946 by Dr. James H. Jones and his wife, Myra Jones, the International House is a place that promotes “intercultural understanding” between students.

A total of 25 countries are represented at the house. Although the day was dark and rainy, the students still put on their dancing shoes and celebrated their cultures.

Shanuki De Mel, a business management student, opened the show with a folk dance from her home of Sri Lanka, an island off the coast of India.

“We had a month to practice our dances for the event, and we had to bring our own outfits from home to use. When we were first talking about our performances, we had to pitch our ideas and run them by the Resident Assistant and the Coordinator,” De Mel said.

“The opening dance, in my culture, is danced by girls. It is meant to show grace, and dancing in a way that shows how graceful we are,” she said.

Other students showed off their cultures and talents as well. Original poems were read, musical duets were sung and traditional dances were performed by the housemates.

Marignima Souane, Noella Mupungila and Oluwatofunmi Olayinka — all students from Africa — performed a dance called “Represent Africa.”

“I was very excited and also very nervous about today. I was afraid I would mess up, but everything turned out great and I had so much fun dancing. I’m glad I got to do it,” Olayinka said. President Beehler, the first lady and past International House Alumni were present for the event.

The United Nations Tea Day was a big success because was a cross-culture event full of companionship and laughs.

Brittany Robertson
Staff Reporter

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