Cultural Harmony Week concludes

Geneseo’s 13th annual Cultural Harmony Week, which focused on cross-cultural play and leisure, came to an end on Sunday Nov. 4.

Although Repertorio Español’s live theatrical performance of “En el Tiempo de las Mariposas,” was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 1, associate professor of Spanish and Chair of the Languages and Literatures Department Rose McEwen held a showing of the movie in English, titled In the Time of the Butterflies.

The movie takes place in the Dominican Republic during the 1950s dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina and focuses on the Mirabal sisters, who were killed in 1960 for an underground movement to overthrow Trujillo.

The movie stars Salma Hayek as Minerva Mirabal, the sister who spearheaded many of the efforts. The title of the movie comes from the nickname for the sisters’ group, “the Butterflies.”

“The movie was a great way to become educated on the mid-20th century history of the Dominican Republic,” said sophomore Zach Colson. “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The Afro-rock group Jabali Afrika came to Geneseo for the third time on Nov. 2. Geneseo Late Knight coordinator Stephanie Medina introduced the group.

The group is from Nairobi, Kenya, and according to its website, Jabali Afrika combines authentic African music with the modern Kenyan styles.

They played for over two hours, responding to calls from the crowd for encores at the end in an overall interactive show.

The performance opened with fast percussion on a drum set by one member, who also performed vocals. Another performer joined him, playing both bass guitar and solo guitar.

The group moved into a slower song about missing home, which featured complex harmonized vocals from the drummer and another performer, who played djembe and mumbambu drums throughout the performance.

Following the slow song, the group went on to play several upbeat songs and invited several audience members to play the djembe, a West African hand drum.

Tatiana Abaya, a junior from Cameroon, said that hearing the group play was therapeutic for her.

“During times of stress and midterms, coming here and hearing songs from home just makes you feel like you’re where you belong” she said.

The Intercultural Dinner concluded Cultural Harmony Week on Nov. 4 with performances from the various on-campus cultural groups. These skits explored the ways in which the groups’ respective cultures incorporated play and leisure. The dinner also included a wide variety of dishes, and proceeds from the dinner’s tickets sales went to Doctors Without Borders, an international organization that provides medical assistance to developing countries.

“The dinner was a fun way for all the cultural groups to show what they can offer to students … as well as giving a snapshot into their respective cultures,” said sophomore Diego Droguett.