On Sunday Oct. 30, the Alliance for Community Enrichment's annual Intercultural Dinner was held in the College Union Ballroom. Students, teachers and the general public donned their most vibrant cultural attire to attend the dinner and show.
Cultural groups Shakti, Japanese Culture Club, Students Educating About Ableism, Pride Alliance, Womyn's Action Coalition, Latino Student Association, Geneseo Chinese Culture Club, Korean American Student Association, Black Student Union and Slavic Club worked in collaboration to put together the evening. Each group preformed its own skit, and some of the groups even provided cultural dishes for the dinner. This year, the theme of the show was marriage and weddings across different cultures.
Guests were treated to a well-stocked buffet of all kinds of cultural foods. Among the dishes was herb-crusted pizza, lo mein, fried chicken, sausage and cabbage, fried rice, salad and more. When plates were cleaned and stomachs filled, the show's hosts – junior Kisha Laurent, senior Kye Shibata and sophomore Klarissa Garcia – got the ball rolling with some introductions and jokes.
Shakti opened the night with a comedic skit portraying arranged marriage in South Asian cultures where the protagonist suffered through three different meetings with potential wives. The club wrapped up with a stellar dance performance that left the audience cheering for more. JCC followed up with a Japanese dating show scene in which contestants had to share their interests and ideal dates and matches. The audience couldn't help but laugh out loud at the organization's humorous skit.
SEAA changed the mood with a touching scene involving a man in a wheelchair and his girlfriend who proposed to him after the couple found out that the man would be in his wheelchair forever. Although short, the skit was poignant. Continuing to tug heartstrings, Pride served up an informative skit about the hardships of same-sex marriage, dealing with a family's opinion and support of the marriage by having a member of the group act as an older man questioning the decision. After Pride, WAC performed a skit with an overdramatic and demanding "groomzilla" who took over his wedding; the goal of the group was to challenge the "bridezilla" stereotypes of brides-to-be.
LSA performed last, just before intermission. The group showcased the socioeconomic hardships that come with relationships by portraying a man and a woman from different economic backgrounds. The couple was forced to convince their dogmatic parents that their love transcended money. The group closed with a dance "battle" between the families; ultimately, the two sides realized that the couple's love was stronger than the differing economic statuses.
Following intermission, the audience settled down to watch a video by GCCC that showed members of the group acting as bridesmaids playing wedding day pranks on the groom and groomsmen. KASA continued by sharing a traditional Korean marriage ceremony – Paebaek – in which the bride and groom honor their new in-laws. The ceremony traditionally takes place a few days after the wedding.
BSU entertained the audience with dancing and a wedding reception in which cultural traditions were revealed, such as the bride and groom jumping over a broom to represent the "sweeping away of the old, single life." Slavic club concluded the night on a high note with upbeat, energetic dancing and a comedic skit about a mail-order bride from Russia interrupting a wedding reception.
The night, as always, was enjoyable, whatever your culture or background. As senior Dennis Green said: "It's nice to see the different culture groups interacting." It was indeed heartening to see so many cultural groups uniting to educate, entertain and, of course, dine.