Ethnic kinship amid cultural diversity

International flavour

The three-day ‘International Students Fest 2014’ was held at the Dayananda Sagar Institutions campus recently.

The fest was a colourful affair with students from 19 countries like the USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China, taking part. The ambassador of Afghanistan, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, and deputy high commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda Joseph Kabakeza, were invited as guests of honour. The events started off with a country march and after the sports events, the festival concluded with a vibrant evening of cultural programmes on the third day. The cultural programmes consisted of dances, singing, instrumental music and band performances, fashion show and the events were liked by one and all. Participants of the fest who belonged to different ethnic groups appreciated the fact that they got a chance to express themselves on a stage in midst of a mixed crowd. Sima Niroomand, who hails from Iran and is a student of BMS College said that she explored European style designs on the ramp. “This was the first time I choreographed for a team apart from walking the ramp. This was a new challenge and required some efforts,” said Sima.

Other students, who came prepared for a competition, said that it was a letdown but the excitement was there nonetheless. “I danced to a song from Dhoom 3 and that was because I wanted to do something that would appeal to everyone. If I knew we were to perform for the cultural programmes, I would have performed something which would have reflected my culture,” said Rishika Karki from Nepal, who’s a student with Nargund College of Pharmacy. Other participants like Ajmal Sahebzada, who hails from Afghanistan and is a student of Garden City College, said that it was a great feeling to see a mix of cultures. “To see and observe the different cultural variances was a different feeling. Also, since I got to showcase Afghani culture through what I wore on the ramp, it felt good,” said Ajmal.

Representing her land’s culture, Nima Yanzee Sherpa, a student of Oxford College of Science, who is from Nepal performed a folk dance. “We performed on a romantic song and it was fun. We thought that not many would be able to appreciate the dance, but were pleasantly surprised to see many other Nepali students sing along and others applauding us,” she said.

Other students tried to do a mix of Bollywood numbers along with their own folk culture. Okeke Chima Charles, who hails from Nigeria and is a student of Koshy’s College said that his group performed ‘Lungi Dance’ and two other Nigerian hip-hop numbers. “It was endearing to see the crowd clicking photographs and video recording our performance,” he said.

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