Saturday, February 24, 2018

Camosun students come together at international Cultural Showcase

March 16, 2016 by Adam Marsh, student editor

Camosun College students will get a chance to show off their talents at the upcoming ninth annual international Cultural Showcase event. The show will include singers, dancers, and even magicians, says third-year Psychology student Siyuan Li, who is one of the hosts for the event (all the hosts come from different countries).

Li says that he is excited to be hosting, and that he would like to see some Canadian students at the show as well.

“I’m really proud,” he says about being the host, adding that it’s been a lot of work so far. “It’s not an easy opportunity. It was stressful.”

Li says there is often division between people from different countries; he hopes that this showcase will help break down some of those barriers.

“I want to see everyone come together,” he says. “I don’t want this event to be just for international students. I want to see some of the Canadian students who want to show their talents, because different cultures always bring different talents. Canadian students have different talents, and I want to see their traditions and customs.”

Performers at a previous year’s international Cultural Showcase event at Camosun College (photo by Camosun College A/V Services).

Performers at a previous year’s international Cultural Showcase event at Camosun College (photo by Camosun College A/V Services).

Li says this is the first year that Canadians have been eligible to participate; he hopes the end result is unity among Camosun students.

“Different countries, they always hang out with their own countries,” he says. “Chinese people hang out with Chinese people. Japanese people hang out with Japanese people. But this time, we all come together.”

Li says there will be some changes this year regarding the formality and continuity of the show.

“Last year, the teacher said they did really great,” says Li about the hosts, “but it wasn’t very formal. They made lots of jokes onstage. This is a big event, so this time the teacher asked the hosts to be more formal, to be really professional.”

International activity assistant for Camosun International Helena Cui says dancing is her passion; she danced in China professionally for 10 years, starting when she was six.

“In my opinion, I don’t see too many differences from the last years,” she says. “We did start with a very minimal performance. It was very informal. It was in one of our auditoriums at Camosun, but as the show is growing, now it’s beyond campus.”

Cui says the ultimate goal is to have students carry the tradition on elsewhere.

“We’re trying to celebrate cultures from different countries around the world,” she says. “We’re hoping that students at Camosun can take the lead and make it into a project of their own. Of course, they have limited resources, so we’re just on the side, helping them organize it. The entire showcase, the purpose of it is to bring all the cultures together, to celebrate different cultures in song and dance and voice and music.”

Despite the event showcasing many different cultures, Cui says it has been a challenge to “get diversity.”

“We were hoping to get the Saudi Arabian students, which didn’t happen,” she says. “So we’re still working on the different groups and different areas, hoping to get more diverse.”

Despite the fact that the show struggled in numbers (there are 12 performers this year, compared to 20 last year), Cui says that 12 performers is “just about right.”

“We only have one guest performance this year,” says Cui. “Last year we were combined with a community performance. That’s why we had a few different community performers last year, but this year, it is completely on us, although we have one guest performer from a little kids’ dance group.”

The event is free, but donations are accepted, and go toward the non-profit World University Service of Canada, who aim to strengthen education and employment opportunities around the world.

“We also take the opportunity at the Cultural Showcase to recognize March 21,” says Cui. “It’s the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.”

Li says there are lots of international students at Camosun, but what he’s interested in is seeing all the countries come together.

“There is one song that’s sung in all the different languages, and that’s really interesting stuff,” says Li. “It’s multicultural.”

Camosun International Cultural Showcase
7 pm Thursday, March 24
Free, Alix Goolden Performance Hall

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