Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cultural talent show highlights global customs and traditions

Students from around the globe showcased their unique talents in an international talent show for all students on March 26.

Culture shock — Students from around the globe showed off talents and traditional music as part of International Week. Photo credit: Kate Powley

The Cultural Talent Show transformed the Tilley Student Center atmosphere into an entertaining blend of singing, rhythm, poems and music. Ten students from Jordan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Argentina, Tanzania and the Bahamas took the stage in hopes of awing the crowd with their talents.

Allen Takudzwa Mavunga emceed the event. “Hosting the show was amazing and a lot of fun. I got to meet some of the most talented International students,” Mavunga said. “I got to work with great organizers who made the event a success, and they made my job very easy.”

Junior Public Relations major Gabriela Dominguaz was one of the performers, singing two tangos.

“(This was an) awesome experience. I love the fact that we can express more of our culture and also interact with our other international students,” Dominguaz said.

Office of International Student Services Operations Assistant Kristina Venable said that this was a successful event.

“(We) had students come for the talent show, and students that did not know it was going on were able to experience cultural talents while eating and hanging out,” Venable said.

The cultural talent show was inspired by students during a focus group at the International Student Center.

“These are nights when we have students from a certain demographic share what is good and bad about our office, events and Liberty as a whole,” Venable said. Students wanted more than the Taste of Nations and Parade of Nations. “(This) led us to the full International Week to allow [international] students to show their country and culture to the American students at Liberty,” Venable said.

“I absolutely loved it tonight. There are so many international students here and tonight gave them a chance to shine and share a part of their lives with us,” junior psychology and youth ministry major Diana Nelson said.

“Our job at the International Office is to take care of those students (by) helping them to overcome culture shock. Part of overcoming culture shock is to get involved,” Venable said. “This week they are able to remember where they are from and show it to other students.”

Mavunga encourages students to get rid of their fear and use their talents to bring glory to God.

“I realized that we are all talented in the manner God blessed us. I was blessed so much to be amongst students who are not shy to show off what God has blessed them with,” Mavunga said.

“God has blessed these events through students being able to feel more at home through talking about and sharing their experiences. This has been a great week of showing and learning,” Venable said.

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