International Students share their culture in Parade of Nations
March 31, 2019
This year’s Parade of Nations went off without a hitch on March 21 In the University Center as students from around the globe were able to share their cultures during the annual event. Students representing Mexico, India, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Colombia put on performances during the event.
Attendees were able to enjoy chicken chow mein from China, jollof rice from Nigeria, vegetable manchurian from India and cassava balls from Colombia as the students performed. Performances included a Mexican mariachi band, a reading of the Chinese classic, “The Ballad of Mulan,” an afro dance from the Nigeria, a lion dance by Chinese and Vietnamese students, and “Banh Troi Nuoc (Woman),” a dance performed by Vietnamese students.
Members of President Kelly Quintanilla’s cabinet also performed with the students. Tom Mundell, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, made a calligraphy illustration as “The Ballad of Mulan” was read aloud. Dr. Clarenda Philips, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, performed a dance with the Azerbaijan presenter, Alimursal Ibrahimov. Athletics Director Jon Palumbo joined in on the lion dance. Cheryl Cain, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, took part in the Colombian dance performance, and President Quintanilla herself performed in a dance number with the Vietnamese Student Association, wearing a traditional Vietnamese outfit.
Ibrahimov, a junior management Information Systems major, has been in the USA for three years and spoke about his home country of Azerbaijan. “The good thing I like about my country is everyone loves each other,” said Ibrahimov. “They don’t discriminate based on color, religion or nationality.”
“In my culture, if you are cousins or a neighbor, you can just knock on their door and say hi. It’s not an individual culture,” he said in regards to noticeable cultural differences in the USA. “When someone comes to America from a different nation, after awhile the people love them. There isn’t a big difference between them. That was part of my decision to come here.”
Ibrahimov returns to Azerbaijan during the summers to be with his family. “My dad smiles rarely, but he always supports me,” he said. “My family trusts and believes in me.”
Ibrahimov is just one of many international students who brought experiences that many Americans have never been a part of. The Parade of Nations was immensely successful in bringing some of that culture to our campus.