On 10 March the University of Sheffield International Students’ Committee held their annual International Cultural Evening. Quite sceptical about whether to go to the International Cultural Evening 2018, I got the chance to attend as a member of Forge Press, on the condition that I wrote a piece about the event for the paper later. And I have never ever been more delighted to have taken up an ‘assignment’ voluntarily.
Thousands of University of Sheffield students and members of the public gathered in Sheffield City Hall to celebrate the cultural diversity in the city, as well as the Committee’s fiftieth anniversary. With their dances and plays, national and cultural societies from the University and special guest performers represented the variety of cultures, existing together in the University environment and the city of Sheffield. Accompanied by impressive multimedia and visual effects and traditional songs, wearing their cultural dresses, they ‘embraced their place in the world’, as the event theme read, and demonstrated on stage how captivating every culture can be.
Participants at the event included the Belly Dance Society, the Irish Dance Society, the Kpop Dance Society and many more. All their performances were absolutely fascinating and compelling but two of them impressed the judges most and received awards. The Indian Society, were awarded second place for their dances, which took the audience on a tour around various Indian regions. The big winners were the Tamil Society. With their dance they told the history of how the Tamil culture developed in India and other parts of Asia.
Part in the event took the International Students’ Committee members as well. They were welcomed on stage accompanied by the song ‘We are the World’ by USA for Africa and a round of applause from the audience. Current SU president Kieran Maxwell and Santhana Gopalakrishnan, SU International Students’ Officer, gave a speech to encourage international students to be proud of their origins and culture. Professor Gill Valentine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, also congratulated the Committee for the anniversary and the participants at the event for their fabulous performances.
All societies who performed at the International Cultural Evening were absolutely brilliant. The judges must have found themselves in a very complicated situation when deciding the winners, I assume. Seeing all these international students representing their cultures with great passion made me also proud to be an international student and a representative of a unique culture. The International Cultural Evening communicated its clear message to the audience - no matter who we are, we all have our place on the stage of the world.
Many thanks to Audra Lee, first year Journalism Studies student at the University of Sheffield, for taking the fabulous photos you can see above and for letting me use them in my blog post!