Intercultural Dinner unites groups in exploration of play

The third annual Intercultural Dinner shared the 13th annual Cultural Harmony Week’s title: “Create. Play. Educate: That’s How We Learn!”

Eight cultural clubs performed at the event including Black Student Union, Japanese Culture Club, Latino Student Association, Korean American Students Association, Geneseo Chinese Cultural Club, Womyn’s Action Coalition, Shakti and Pride Alliance.

The night began with a dinner prepared by the cultural groups, featuring a wide variety of dishes including BSU’s fried chicken, Shakti’s aloo curry and LSA’s mangu de platano maduro. Side dishes included KASA’s fried rice, WAC’s “WACaroni and cheese” and Slavic Club’s sweet fried pierogies. Dessert consisted of Pride’s rainbow fruit kebabs, JCC’s green tea ice cream and GCCC’s almond Jell-O.

“There was something for everyone and all kinds of tastes,” said sophomore Nathalie Grogan. “There were so many different dishes and flavors, and everything was delicious.”

To open the accompanying show, BSU performed first with a Black History Month skit. BSU members performed as students crafting a rap and a dance on the various aspects of black history to assist in their exam studying with topics spanning from the Emancipation Proclamation to the election of President Barack Obama. Members danced to music by famous black artists as well as traditional African music.

JCC showed a video about hikiomori, a Japanese term for adolescents who withdraw from social endeavors because of the pressure of schoolwork and the outside world. The video showed an intervention for a boy whose friends and family helped him become social again.

LSA followed with a skit on a recent Geneseo graduate who hadn’t visited his family in years. When the boy returned home, he discovered that his family used outlets such as music, dancing and soccer to forget about their worries and have fun. The skit ended with a variety of Latino dances.

KASA showed a video of a Geneseo student traveling abroad to Korea to learn more about her roots. She said she found the lifestyle to be frustrating but in the end learned what her culture had to offer.

After the intermission, GCCC showed a video in the style of the television show “How I Met Your Mother” that revolved around a father competing in a top-spinning competition, one of the oldest games in Chinese culture.

WAC performed a spin-off of the fairytale Rapunzel to emulate the current fight for gender equality. A monster patriarch locked a princess away, but she and the prince fought together to defeat the monster.

Shakti performed a skit that focused on a cricket game between Pakistan and India, a long-standing sports rivalry in southern Asia. Both teams played unfairly, causing both of their captains to disqualify them from the final game.

Pride ended the night with a pride parade that included all of the members from the different cultural clubs. At the end of the parade, each group took its bows.

Ticket sales and additional donations for the dinner went to Doctors Without Borders.

“The dinner was very successful at bringing the different cultures together,” said senior Ying Su, president of GCCC. “It was a great way to see people from different backgrounds and to understand them.”