From the traditional dress of Vietnam to the dances of Nigeria, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s “Parade of Nations 2018” celebrated the plethora of countries that have sent foreign exchange students to study at the Island University.
The event was held on April 12 at 11 a.m. in the Anchor Ballroom C of the University Center and was hosted by the International Student Organization. Over the span of two hours, representatives from eight of the total 53 countries present at the campus shared their culture and informed both the student body and university faculty alike about the cultural diversity of their respective home lands. This also included performances from Vietnam, China, Nigeria and Iran, as well as a performance from the Department of Theatre and Dance. A unifying event that brought local students and international students together was exemplified in sophomore mathematician major Jessica Anderson, who attended the event to support her friends who were performing as well as to immerse herself in other cultures.
“The more cultures you meet, the more people you know and the more you learn,” Anderson said. “Being around different cultures just makes you become a better person.”
The students who took part in the Parade of Nations, like freshman nursing major Khoa Hoang from Vietnam, were just as enthusiastic about sharing their cultures as the locals were to learn about them.
“I’m proud of my country and I want to show my culture to everyone; the clothes and everything,” Hoang said. “I’m very proud of being Vietnamese.”
While the event was a success, there were still some difficulties when planning and getting everything ready for the big day, according to the International Student Organization president Raed Alsodani.
“We (the students involved in the event) do still have exams and midterms but that was the only difficulty we had,” Alsodani said. “With teamwork, everything was easy.”
But in the end, the mission of the ISO was accomplished: to teach local students about the world outside of Corpus Christi.
“To show the richness of the international culture of different countries from all over the world was our goal,” Alsodani said. “It was good for local students to learn about cultures out- side of this town.”
There were a couple of significant people in attendance of this event; four out of six of TAMUCC’s deans as well as our own president, who gave a few words and shared an anecdote or two to kick off the celebration.
“What’s so important about you (international students) coming here is that you change the lives and the world of the students who are from the area,” Quintanilla said. “You are global ambassadors to this region; you’ve changed the way people see the world and that’s incredible.”
Overall, the Parade of Nations was a chance for students from all over the world to come together and celebrate the diverse cultures that we see on the Island every day. To learn more about the International Student Organization, visit orgsync.com/7086/chapter.